Mixed Feelings About New Renovations

By: Joshua Everard, 1L
Contributing Writer

These new stairs welcome students and visitors to the renovated third floor | Photography by Joshua Everard

These new stairs welcome students and visitors to the renovated third floor | Photography by Joshua Everard

As promised, the law students of Washington & Lee were greeted by change in Lewis Hall when they arrived for new fall semester. The entrance on the parking lot side of the legal complex was improved to look more like an entrance, the stairwell connected to the main lobby was upgraded, half of the carrels were removed to allow for significantly more space for public and private study groups, walls were repainted, and— the author’s favorite—more windows were installed, allowing more natural light into the building.

Washington & Lee law students range from cynical to enthusiastic in their views on the face lift operation. One who wished not to be mentioned by name offered that the law school looks “like a hospital,” which must be assumed to mean that Lewis Hall is where the suffering and healing process happens, but at least the environment appears to be clean. “More white, less red,” another secretive source commented. “It’s adequate,” another anonymous individual shared. Annie Anderson, a 2L, “love[s] the upper reading room and how many places there are to study. The additions make the space much more comfortable. However, the decor is really sterile and they need to put some pictures on the walls, or something to warm it up.”

Rich Goode, in true 1L spirit, “didn’t know they renovated.” Ali Hakusui, another 1L, said, “I don’t know what it looked like before.” No worries, Rich and Ali; most of the other ‘18Ls probably don’t know either.

Some students aren't fans of the more modern furniture installations - are you? | Photography by Joshua Everard

Some students aren’t fans of the more modern furniture installations – are you? | Photography by Joshua Everard

Corey Lipschutz knows, however, and was feeling rather feisty when he opined that “the renovations really brought the library from 1975 to 2015. I just hope they continue next summer with the few parts of the building that still have that 1970s vibe. Also, I hope next time it takes four guys less than a week to figure out how to lay a rubber strip along a glass stairwell.” Get ‘em, Corey. Move out the lava lamps and move in the glass walls and open spaces.

Some don’t think the time travel is so groovy, such as 2L Peter Szeremeta, who stated definitively, “It’s a little modern for my taste.”

Mostly, the law students who were interviewed appreciate the renovation for its new feel of soothing ambiance coupled with a welcoming feng shui. Brian Lyew, 3L represented the majority opinion with his comment that “the renovations have definitely livened up the building.” Pete Thomas, a 1L, expressed that the renovations are “dope.” Fellow 1L Jackie Hacker says, “They’re great.”

At least we still have some optimists walking around after the first few weeks of case books and cold calls, and they are right: The renovations really are nice.

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