While most places on campus have the identifiable Hokie Stone or maroon and orange decorations, Squires Student Center does not exactly scream Hokie territory.

“When I first came here I remember saying if you blindfolded me and brought me [to Squires] I wouldn’t know where I was,” said Guy Sims, the assistant vice president for student affairs who oversees the department of Student Centers and Activities. “There was no color scheme or anything Hokie.”

The original 54,366-square-foot student activities building was completed in May 1937. Renovated in 1969 and again in 1988, Squires Student Center has expanded to almost 200,000 square feet and features two ballrooms, a food court with seating, numerous activity rooms, bowling and billiards, meeting rooms, offices, and an art gallery. As a main attraction for students on campus, the Student Centers and Activities department decided Squires needed to have a more meaningful feel to students.

“The new additions tie in elements of history, past, and what’s important to us here,” Sims said.

The recently completed renovations and updates include

  • Aspirations for Student Learning banners in between the windows of the original façade of Squires Student Center;
  • EndZONE room in BreakZONE complete with nine flat screens, numerous gaming systems, and karaoke;
  • 2011 and 2010 Corps of Cadets military ball paintings on display in the atrium area on the second floor;
  • Renaming and redecorating room 232 to Monterrey Tech Room to honor the exchange program between Virginia Tech and Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico;
  • Bathrooms renovated near Haymarket Theatre with the objective of making them more energy and water efficient through automatic shutoff lighting and low-flow toilets;
  • Expanding Perspective Gallery to include more regional work and have more uses;
  • Painting donated from a New Orleans artist after April 16, 2007, hung in student seating area on the second floor;
  • Venture Out Outdoor Center entrance is now lined with Hokie Stone;
  • New carpet on the second floor where the 2011 class ring pedestal resides; and
  • Moving most offices to the third floor from the first floor to allow more room for student use.

The renovations will be an on-going effort with no set end date. Potential and planned changes include using the information center for tickets and possibly turning the ticket office into a concession store, expanding the Hokie Stone across the information center, and installing new floor tile near the Haymarket Theatre. The department is assessing the best way to give students more electrical outlets, snack food options, and anything else they need.

“We are always asking ourselves what we can do better to meet the needs of the students,” Sims said.



Written by Lauren Marshall from Marshall, Va., a senior majoring in communication and human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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