Plans to begin renovating Exley Science Center will begin in February. Recently, posters have been hung on the external wall of the 24-hour study room with details, including a floor plan and a choice of color schemes for the space. The new resources that come with the renovation will be available to students at the start of the spring 2015 semester.
One motivation for this project comes from a desire to change the current aesthetic of the building. Senior Project Coordinator of Physical Plant Brandi Hood hopes to create a more inviting atmosphere in the building.
“The renovations to the Exley lobby will make the space more welcoming, comfortable and functional,” she said. “The materials we’ve chosen will improve comfort and the acoustics as well. Today, this large space feels cold, dark, and sterile.”
Carpet will be installed in order to make the space quieter and safer in inclement weather. Five new seating clusters will be installed in the open space between Pi Café, Science Library, and Tischler Hall, each providing new areas for students to congregate and study. Each cluster will have a distinct seating arrangement ranging from modular seating to high tables with barstool seating. Additionally, standing counter tops will line the walls between the three classrooms opposite Tischler, each with outlets for device charging convenience.
At the same time that the availability of student resources will increase, one often-utilized spot—the 24-hour study space—will reduce its access during the day.
The space, affectionately known to many as “The Fishbowl,” will be re-furnished to feature an arrangement of nine tables and seating for 54. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, the space can be used for class meetings. A new intensive semester-long program will also utilize the room as a resource. However, T,he Fishbowl will still remain open to students for studying every night, as well as all day on weekends.
“The reasons for renovations are two-fold,” Hook said. “One, to create more group social and study spaces on campus, [and] two, to provide additional study spaces in Exley, since the 24/7 space may be utilized for classes during the day.”
Nicole Dallar ’18, who often takes advantage of the quiet space provided by the 24/7 study room during the day, is not thrilled with the proposed changes.
“I think that it’s important for people to have a quiet place to go on campus, and I don’t think that area is very conducive to a classroom setting,” Dallar said. “I would find it difficult to pay attention in there.”
Those who have been inside Exley may have noticed two design options displayed beneath the design plans, featuring different color schemes and patterns. After a process of informal polling, the Exley lobby will feature the style of option number one.
“Option number one wins hands down with students, faculty and staff that we’ve polled,” Hood said.
Dallar, however disagreed.
“That weird ’80s style creeps me out,” she said.
While limited use of the 24/7 study room may seem like a major drawback to some, other students are looking forward to the new features that Exley will offer. Rachel Teller ’18 is excited to have a new place to hang out and study.
“I guess it’s unfortunate for the people who do go [to the 24/7 study room] all day, but I know I study in Olin,” she said. “Pi is a really nice location, so I think that expanding seating around it will be great.”