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  • MPC 400 Community Media II

UPDATE: The Block House at The University of Olivet

The exterior of the new Block House building located on the corner of S. Main Street and W. Butterfield Highway.

OLIVET- Those living in and around Olivet may have seen the renovations happening to the bar formerly known as the Lamplighter. A sign in front of the building tells you that it is being turned into the Block House, an e-sports bar with another location in Alma, Michigan. 

The Block House sign announcing the new addition to Olivet.

The Block House is co-owned by Nick Lux, who in an over-the-phone interview said, “The initial conversation probably started about a year and a half ago.”

The construction on the building started in July of 2023 with the building set to open soon, according to Lux. 

“The project is a little slower than we would have wished it to have happened,” said Ryan Shockey, Vice President and Chief of Staff at the University of Olivet, who has been working with Lux and the other co-owner to coordinate the project. “We’re really excited to see it hopefully come to completion here in March and open it up to our students and community members and our esports team to begin competing.”

John Barry and Austin Shroufe are both members of the esports team who are looking forward to the opening of the Block House. 

“We know they’re trying their hardest, we know that they’re making sure that that space is 100% for us because they’re an organization that knows we’re going to be dealing with a bunch of gamers, and they’re going to be playing at competitive levels, we need to tailor fit this space for them,” said Barry. 

“It’s going to be an all-around great place to hang out for people in Olivet that makes them excited,” said Shroufe. 

The University is not the only reason the Block House is being built. The community is an important part of this project as well. 

“They’re all about working with the community for the betterment of the community, providing that inclusive space, and being with each other around a shared theme or a commonality that they would have,” said Shockey. 

Updated information:

The Block House was originally on course to open in March of 2024; however, some delays have pushed this date back.

According to Shockey, the delays can be connected to, "A lot of construction delays. We’ve been okay with supply chain, which is fortunate coming out of COVID, that seemed to be a thing for a while, a lot of this is just aligning people in construction,” along with this he also included that, "The biggest complications are like I said the personnel side of getting everyone lined up. We lost a general contractor before we started the project so that then put us behind. We had to find a new general so they had to line up all their stuff.”

The new goal for opening is aimed at April. However, this is tentative as the building is still in need of a few inspections and its liquor license.

As for the role this new establishment will play in the community, Shockey has high hopes, "If you're of age or not of age, there is nowhere where you can go sit and have a thing of french fries in town. You're always doing that on campus. So, it’ll be nice for you to have a place that is off campus for you to hang out and be college kids.”

Photos by Stuart Donlan

Revised information written by Ella Gaffke


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