New School Buildings Get Facelifts
For years, residents complained about the inadequate amenities and cramped quarters at Loeb Hall in the East Village. Over the summer, The New School decided to finally address such concerns. Like many other facilities, the university’s oldest student dorm underwent a renovation aimed at improving the quality of student life and services on campus.
The main entrance is currently receiving a significant overhaul, complete with new doors and windows. Upgraded amenities at Loeb include a new fitness room , a study room, a music practice room, and a recreational lounge. The project is only one aspect of a wide-ranging series of changes to New School facilities including Arnhold Hall, the List Academic Center and Johnson/Kaplan Hall, among others.
“The projects we worked on this summer exemplify priorities established by [President] David Van Zandt to serve students and facilitate the university’s academic mission,” Lia Gartner, The New School’s vice president for design, construction and facilities management, told the Free Press via email. Gartner said the plans were devised through feedback from students, faculty and staff.
But despite the university’s efforts, not all of the projects are being met with universal enthusiasm.
The renovations at Loeb, which are still in progress, have disrupted resident access to several parts of the building. Living space in the rooms, a source of past scrutiny from Loeb residents, also remains unaltered.
“I wish they would have renovated something more important like the rooms, which are way too small,” said Parsons sophomore and Loeb resident Jake Sigl. “Right now it’s kind of annoying, but I’m interested to see what comes out of it.”
Gartner said the work at Loeb is slated for completion by mid-September, like most of the projects still in progress around campus. New School press officer Kate McCormick told the Free Press via email that the university invested approximately $8 million on changes and renovations in 2011, a figure consistent with the average annual spending for infrastructure upgrades at The New School.
Renovations to The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s facilities at Arnhold Hall, on 55 W. 13 St., were also undertaken this summer. The administration worked in cooperation with the division to create a new soundproof recording studio with improved acoustics. Two rooms were combined on the fifth floor to create a new percussion studio, and a manual soundboard used for recording audio has been replaced by a digital one.
Other visible changes at Arnhold Hall include newly installed LCD orientation displays in the elevator lobbies of four floors, used for school updates and notifications. According to the office of academic technology, the goal was to enhance communication between the administration and student body. Multiple classrooms on the fourth floor at Arnhold Hall have also been renovated, in order to expand room size and technological capacity.
Johnson/Kaplan Hall on 66 W. 12 St., mainly used by Lang and The New School for Public Engagement, saw several changes this summer. Nine bathrooms were renovated, while new tables and desk chairs were acquired for most of the classrooms.
The List Academic Center on 6 E. 16 St., which had occupied seven floors mostly used by NSSR, acquired four more floors over the summer previously unused by The New School. One of the new floors is designated as an experimental study environment for Parsons students.