CAT creates Wildcat Cove

Bridget Nyland

Providing space for artists and art lovers alike, the new Wildcat Cove in Good Counsel’s basement had its grand opening Jan. 31 after months of hard work.

A coffee house-style space, Wildcat Cove will serve as a venue for creativity.

From DJs to poetry readings, the possibilities for usage are limitless.

“We are hoping it can be a place for students to be creative and artistic,” said Brandy Jericho-Beach, assistant director of Student Development for Media Programs.

Jericho-Beach and Nikki Hornsberry, assistant director of Student Development for Programming, are the main administrators in charge of the space.

The grand opening exemplified the wide array of talent Wildcat Cove could be used for.

The event featured a student band, a DJ and a spoken-word performance.

The event also included refreshments, which will be a feature at some of the programs.

Since its opening, Wildcat Cove’s calendar has been filling quickly.

“We’re hoping it will catch on to more students,” Jericho-Beach said. “Anyone with an idea can use it.  They don’t have to live on South to appreciate it.”

The space is open to all student organizations and can be used whenever students need it.

It will be closed, however, when a program is not going on. To schedule a program, students can go to the CAT office in 108 Dougherty Hall and see Jericho-Beach or Hornsberry.

“If they have any ideas for programs or events, please don’t hesitate to contact Nikki or myself to do so,” Jericho-Beach said. “We’re hoping everyone takes advantage of the space and does something wonderful with it.”

While Wildcat Cove is in full gear to go right now, it took several months of planning and work to get it into shape.

Hornsberry and Jericho-Beach, along with several of the students that work with CAT, have worked hard for over four months to get Wildcat Cove up and running.

The basement, which has been a Holy Grounds and offices for paralegal studies in past lives, became available earlier this year and was given to Student Development in hopes of creating a programming space.

From there, the design process began.

The coffee house-style gives Wildcat Cove a cozy atmosphere.

With an eye to the hip scene that makes a coffee house, it includes comfortable couches and chic pictures.

The area features a lounge area and a performance area, separated by curtains.

In addition, there is a small kitchen where drinks and snacks will be served.

For those waiting between performances or for special events, game tables and bookshelves stocked with games abound. Wildcat Cove seats about 60 audience members

“The design was easy,” Jericho-Beach said. “Nikki and I have similar tastes, and it came very easy to us. Hanging anything on the walls, however, was another story. Every wall is made of concrete so we had to get Facilities over to help us hang things like lights for the stage area.”

After the design, the next effort in planning was to pick the name.

In a naming contest run by CAT, Alison Krakowski chose the “Wildcat Cove.” In honor of her contribution, a plaque will hang in the Cove.

While a PA system will be installed, Student Development is being mindful of the residents who live in the rooms above Wildcat Cove.

Though Student Development has not heard any noise complaints thus far, they are trying to keep the noise down to an acceptable level.

“We obviously do not want to disturb the residents,” Jericho-Beach said. “In the future we will be more mindful of the sound and do our best to not disrupt anyone outside of the space.  It is more of a mellow, coffee house-type of space and should never be too overwhelming. We want to evoke a cozy atmosphere, not one that will inhibit conversation.”

Though Wildcat Cove has launched into full swing for the creative groups on campus, it may be a while before another such option is created on campus.

Though there has been increased interest on campus in the arts, empty space for such an area is hard to come by.

“If [space for creative outlets appears], I would be more than happy to help give students more opportunities to be creative and express themselves,” Jericho-Beach said.