Starbucks meets Johnny Rockets

A $250,000 overhaul of the Olmsted Student Union has made an old space feel new again. 


Starbucks meets Johnny Rockets. That's the vibe Pomfret was going for when it decided gut the first and second floors of the Olmsted Student Union this past winter. The $250,000 renovation, which was completed in March, has made an old space feel new again. When students returned from Spring Break, they found a bright, colorful space waiting for them, complete with sleek booths and hightop seating, designed in a way that compliments the core architectural features of this former gymnasium.

The renovation significantly increased seating for students. It also expanded the space to two levels. On the lower level, near the school store and radio station, students can kick back and enjoy a game of ping-pong or pool, while the upper level (where the snack bar and dining area is located) provides ample seating that gives students plenty of room to spread out.

When preparing the design, Director of Facilities Brenda Bullied drew inspiration from suggestions she'd received from students in her Commercial Design course. As their final project, students presented plans for an OSU renovation, everything from seating design to fabric choices to food offerings. Many of the ideas they presented made it into the final design, including a color scheme that highlights the center mural Chris Rogers '01 painted back in the spring of 2019. 

"I absolutely love it," says Jackson Partilla ’21. "It's a place on campus were students can just be students. We come here to grab some food, listen to music, get some work done between classes, and just hang out."


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