Students demonstrate fierce interest in the renovation of Dave’s Down Under to a possible pub theme.
“NEW PUB GRAND OPENING” the headline read on the amber-colored paper of a 1974 issue of The Sandspur. Members of “Jolly Colly” however were not surprised by this refreshing addition to Rollins College. There was a TV and, even more notably, cheaply priced beer…on campus, with a happy hour. These and a selection of food and amenities would make the atmosphere of The Pub the most memorable on campus. Fast forward some decades and nostalgia of The Pub still lingers in the halls.
Discussion and suggestions from students and some alumni have unashamedly advocated bringing back The Pub alongside Dave’s Down Under. The Pub as its own entity may not be a possibility, but we are now at a time where Dave’s is to undergo renovations, and we are now provided with an opportunity to recreate something or start afresh with the highly encouraged impetus of the student body.
I spoke with Pat Schoknecht, chair of the Campus Facility Planning Committee, about these possible renovations and what is underway is exciting. First, the idea of renovation has been tossed around for quite some time. Initially the renovation was in regards to the upper floor of the campus center rather than Dave’s. Schoknecht shared, however, that Dave’s became the focus when she was at an SGA meeting and president, Robert Salmeron, stated that the fixation was on Dave’s and the upper level was fine. With this in mind, Pat went forward in establishing her focus in the renovation of Dave’s and she sent out emails in search of feedback from the student body at Rollins. Around a hundred students replied to the first survey, which was very open-ended, and the number more than doubled the second time around, when the survey was presented with more concise options that had been collected from the previous survey.
A pub with a darker, cozy atmosphere as opposed to a brighter environment is what is currently ranked for the ideal atmospheric change to Dave’s. Bar food and strong demand for healthy options on the menu are placing high in regards to meals. On the whole, the survey reflected that a majority of the responders desire dining and hanging out to be the primary utilization of Dave’s, but the improvement of games such as darts and the pool table are praised.
As a whole this all sounds good, right? But where does the renovation of Dave’s fit into Rollins’ budget? Where will this money come from? Pat shared with me that the money for this renovation would in no way be pulling any funding from Rollins because the Campus Center does have its own separate savings for issues such as plates breaking, a dishwasher needing to be replaced, etc. There is the possibility that if there is a lack of funding, the renovations could be postponed, but not prevented. With this in mind, contacting a design firm and getting blueprints is underway, and those will be sent to students for feedback.
Due to prior obligations that require the use of Dave’s (e.g., Summer O), the anticipated time for changes to go underway is Summer 2015.
The possibility of having the Rollins pub back is stronger than ever. Issues regarding alcohol are on the table, but that will be solved eventually. Until then, the staff and faculty can expect to receive several emails regarding this matter, as their opinion is greatly valued. Even more exciting, Dave’s is named after a current faculty member of our board. A fun trip down to archives could possibly answer any curiosities regarding a further history lesson on The Pub itself.