Students envision redesigned Leavey Center
On Wednesday, Brad Lukanic of Cannon Design, led students, architects, and University administrators in a “visioning” of the renovation of the Leavey Center that is to occur over the next two decades.
In contrast to the last student space forum, a consensus emerged at the meeting: Leavey should maximize workspace for student groups, whereas the New South Student Center should serve as “hang-out” space for the student body at-large.
Lukanic led the room in brainstorming exercises, in which both students and University officials characterized Leavey as an “inefficient and insufficient response to student needs.”
Other characterizations called it a “de facto student center by process of elimination” and a “hallway and parking lot.” Multiple responses said the center’s purpose was to confuse people. Lukanic noted that these problems were endemic to Leavey’s design.
Most participants at the meeting agreed that the redesign should maximize student organization space at the expense of hang-out space.
“We’re very much lacking space in terms of collaboration,” said Emma Green of Philodemic (COL ’12).
Lukanic had the meeting’s attendees rank desired uses for space in Leavey and the NSSC, respectively. Participants were nearly unanimous in their desire to see group spaces in Leavey and a student lounge in New South. “Now I don’t care about any student group space in New South,” said Alex Pon (COL ’12), Corp CEO.
Other desired uses of the Leavey Center included work space for informal student groups, better availability of the esplanade for events like outdoor concerts, and an archetypal “Georgetown” feel instead of generic university architecture.
Additionally, Kathleen McCollough of GPB (SFS ’12) and Chris Pigott of GUSA (COL ’12) expressed their desires that the space be intuitive. Both cited how difficult it is to give people directions to and within the center.
Meetings about the Leavey center will continue into the fall, when Cannon Design will present to the University possible scenarios for renovation. The University will decide how to move forward from there.
Otherwise, the completion of the New Science Center and the proposed conversion of the Leavey Center Hotel into an upperclassman dorm leave some uncertainty as to the future usage of Leavey. In the mean time the University will add interim worship spaces for Jewish and Muslim chaplaincies and renovate Bulldog Alley for the start of the fall term 2011, according to University architect Gina Bleck
Meanwhile, her office is compiling a list of miscellaneous social spaces on campus, such as Alumni Lounge, to include in the University’s overhaul of student space.