New furniture installed in Sombrilla Plaza – UTSA The Paisano
Taylor Zamora, The Paisano.
Over the summer, the wooden furniture that had been in the Sombrilla for decades was replaced with brand new aluminum furniture with poly-teak wooden finish. The former furniture was installed in the 1980s, being refurbished and replaced in 2002 and 2005.
The Sombrilla Plaza is one of the most popular places for students to visit on campus. Every spring semester, the Sombrilla fills with student organizations booths for Fiesta UTSA. Last fall, the Sombrilla housed a silent protest, along with several other demonstrations over the years. The importance of the awning is pronounced by students, and the new furniture is intended to give students a fresh look at what the area has to offer.
The new furniture is weather resistant and environmentally friendly. New tables are made of poly-teak slats, a more sustainable option because of its durability in the elements. The metallic casings around the table provide a sturdy surface for studying, eating or meeting with friends.
The old furniture has been moved to other locations on campus, mainly around the McKinney Humanities Building and the Flawn Science Building.
Students voiced mixed feelings about the furniture being replaced; many students feel the new furniture is more sleek but limited in elbow space.
Junior communication major Kimberly Perales recalled the old furniture with fondness. “The old furniture was bigger and sturdier. The new ones look nice but the old ones were better,” she said.
Biology graduate student Josh Keuhne said the furniture is “aesthetically pleasing, but very limited.” When asked what he would want the University to do, Keuhne said, “I just wish there was more of (the furniture).”
Even though some students like the new furniture, they are also happy that the old furniture was not destroyed.
Furniture improvement is one item on an extended list of renovations that were completed over the summer. Other University projects include renovated auditoriums in the science and humanities buildings and new lounge seating in the auditorium. The University plans to install more furniture during the coming weeks due to the original order being delayed.