Java Jays? Old ‘Bluejay Lounge’ becomes a popular hangout for students


Tabor College students Erin Dick and Jaimie Williams look through yearbooks from years past while they wait for drinks at Java Jays.

 New improvements transformed the ?Bluejay Lounge? into ?Java Jays?Home of the Overflowing Cup? at Tabor College.

?It looks so modern and stylish,? said Katie Chlumsky, a Tabor freshman. ?It?s a comfortable atmosphere to be in.?

This past fall,Tabor started remodeling one of the student lounges on campus. With Phase I complete, the Java Jays lounge consists of a snack bar and hangout area with a coffee-house look.

?I think it?s been very well received,? said Eric Codding, dean of student development. ?And I?ve noticed people in there more to just hangout.

?We intentionally moved the TV out of there, because the TV tends to dominate the space. So the hope is that it is used for socializing and studying.?

The lounge was revamped with new paint, carpet, lighting, furniture and decorations.

Though the lounge was just recently remodeled, the idea to renovate it has been around for a long time.

?It?s been a concern of mine since I started at Tabor,? Codding said. ?It?s something we talked about a lot. We had some donations in its interest on part of the alumni.?

In fact, Phase I was entirely funded by donations to Tabor College.

Codding said he had an alum ask him, ?Why didn?t they do this while I was here??

The Java Jays lounge has found a variety of uses thus far.

?We?ve come here (Java Jays) to do homework and hangout on occasions,? freshman Tessa Siebert said.

?I also use it to just get away from the dorms every once and a while,? Chlumsky added.

During home basketball games, sometimes the teams use the lounge to eat after playing their games.

Other groups, such as Student Development, use it for multiple functions and activities.

?We want to put more energy into the performance side and so we have a stage built in there,? Codding said. ?We?ve had some success with that already last semester.

?We had a few people perform there and had an art show.?

Tammy Ratzlaff, a Tabor graduate, helped organize the project.

Her niece, Brit Karber, is an interior-architectural design major at Kansas State Univer?sity. Karber helped design the layout.

The project has been a team effort all the way around from the planning process to the actual labor process.

?Tammy (Ratzlaff) has had a lot of energy for it,? Codding said. ?She and her friends from her Tabor years worked on the d?coupage tables and they took old yearbooks and made those.

?I kind of did the glaze of the trim, so we made those ourselves. There are actually more coming, but we?re finished at this point. The idea is to have one (table) for every decade.?

Phase I of the revamp is complete, but the project isn?t finished. Plans are in the works for a Phase II.

This second phase is still in the planning process, but project leaders have a good idea of what they want to see done with the place.

?I would say that my vision is that it is kind of a social hub and hangout place,? Codding said. ?That building is really prime real estate.

?Almost every student goes through there several times a day because of the connection to the cafeteria, bookstore and mail and there?s just a lot of reasons to be there. It?s pretty centrally located.?

Codding said the idea is to create a space where people can come and congregate and enjoy the company of one another or enjoy a quiet place to study.

Java Jays is open to everyone, not just the students and staff. The public also is invited to grab something from the snack bar section of Java Jays and take advantage of the new lounge.

At this point, food and drink options include a variety of sandwiches, chips, candy and soft drinks. As part of the second phase, they are hoping to serve coffee drinks.

Currently during Interterm, the Java Jays snack window is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. When spring semester begins, the hours will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then every night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The lounge is now open all day from 6 a.m. to midnight.

?I enjoy coming here,? Siebert said. ?It?s just a great place to relax.?

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