New Student Center Is The Place to Be

It's only been about two weeks since the new student center opened its doors to students, but the area has already become a central part of daily life on campus for many.

"It's a fun space to come to and hang out with friends and meet new people," said Caroline Fritz '21 one afternoon last week in the center. "I come here almost every day."

Tucked into a back corner table with two other new third-form students (shown below), Fritz only had to look up to see the action on the ping-pong table if she chose to take a break from doing homework with her friends.

For pals who aren't taking the same classes, the student center offers them a way to reunite and reconnect during the school day, without sacrificing study time.

"The student center is a less stressful environment to study in than the library," said Jolly Joel '21. "People are happy here, and they're having fun." And how could they not?

Renovation to the space, originally built in 2002 — which Head of School John Packard P'18, P'21 said had become "tired and inefficient" — provided for five TVs, the aforementioned ping-pong table, a foosball table, multiple gathering spaces, and a renovated snack shop.

Click to read about how Our Renovated Student Center is Open and offers more space, light and activity than the former digs.

"Amazing," is how Omolade Mebude '21 described the student center. Before hopping up to join that ping-pong game across the way from his fellow new students, he said, "I love how there are lots of TVs and the furniture is comfortable. It's such a community get-together spot post-class for just chilling."


Yet another third-former, Jack Breen '21, agreed. "I'm a day student, so this is a fun place to hang with my friends," he said. "I watched college football here the other day. There were lots of people here. I do a bit of homework here, too."

"I didn't use the old student center very much," admitted Olivia Jarvis '18. "If there was one group here it was awkward because you couldn't really have another one in the same area. It was too crowded. I like that you can fit more people in it now."

Jarvis was in the student center meeting with her art association club mates. She, Jack Garrard '18 and Jake Grant '18 (shown below) were the only ones present at the moment, but not one of the trio was anxious about having to save space for latecomers.


The updated design of the newly opened-up area is another plus, according to Garrard. "It feels cleaner," he said. "The couches are nicer. I have more inclination to come down here now. And the snack bar is a nice new option. I get coffee there."

Grant agreed. "It has some pretty nice feng shui," he said about the center, which took about seven weeks to renovate during the summer. "I dig the snack bar, too. It's great to have the extra option."

Food is the next frontier of the student center revamp. A weekend chef has been hired to serve up steak and cheese subs, grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken wings and other party foods on Saturdays and Sundays in the renovated kitchen of the snack shop. Currently, the most popular items during the week are muffins and iced coffee.

Weekday, weekend, morning, evening, the student center offers something for everyone. "It's just nice to have a place where students can go and hang out with their friends," said Nicole Li '21, who was joining two friends (shown below) to do exactly that.



"I like the design of it – the whole setup," said one of her pals, Harriet Kumah '21, as the trio strolled through Wilder Dining Hall en route to the center downstairs.

"It is really nice," said the other friend, Amma Boamah-Appiah '21. "I go whenever I have the opportunity!"

To learn more about how Brooks School students enjoy their off time, with activities on- or off-campus, visit the Weekends Are For Fun page.

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