Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Swarthmore has always had a policy of allowing students to have input in picking the College’s developmental direction, and in a recent contest the College continued that tradition by permitting students to submit designs for the new Parrish Lounge space. The contest, administered by Parrish Project Manager Susan Sayer, sought to incorporate student input for a space that will become both a central social space and primary artery for pedestrians, who will be able to pass north-south through the lounge space when the construction is completed.
Students who wished to submit designs were enticed by three prizes of campus store gift certificates to be given to the top entries. Entries were originally due November 19th, but the deadline was subsequently extended to December 1st. The email giving contest rules noted that the new student lounge “needs an identity all its own” that “should not replicate current spaces in Clothier or the more formal Parrish Parlors.” Those architecturally inclined were provided with a bare-bones sketch of the space on the web, which shows the two new staircases and the new mailbox facilities that will complement the lounge.
Asked if she could provide a preview of some of the entries, Sayer said in an email that she would not be opening entries until her selection team, headed by Vice President Larry Schall, had them all and was prepared to review them. She expressed great hope for students’ creative abilities, noting that: “I know that Swarthmore students will put their creative energies towards some terrific ideas. After all, the lounge will be for students…they should have input into the design.”
The degree to which the winning design will be incorporated into the actual final construction will be revealed after the contest winner is announced, Sayer explained. The lounge will be open for student use in September of 2005. Look for an announcement of the winners of the lounge design contest to come from the Parrish Construction Team soon.