The Specht Pages: Our New Home

Do you happen to live on a residential campus? Would you like to know the secrets to designing an ideal residence hall for such a campus? Hello, and welcome to Specht Pages, the true and supreme voice of Lawrence University. In this celebratory 32nd issue, we will lead the university to victory as it considers building new residences. So sit back, relax, and take all that is written as unquestionable truth.

In last week’s edition of The Lawrentian, Dean Truesdell commented that perhaps in the future, Lawrence will need an additional residence hall. The obvious question arises: What will this hall look like? Never fear, Specht & Specht Architects LLC has it all planned out.

Interestingly, when Dean Truesdell spoke about a new campus residence building, she said that it would conform to what the student body wants. However, all of us at Specht Pages insist that what the students want is contrary to what will create a thriving, inclusive and participatory community. While we want things like our own bathrooms, huge bedrooms and air conditioning, we know that those things will only hurt the community as a whole.

First off, this new building (which will be called Specht Hall, in honor of award-winning journalist and muckraker, Kevin Specht) will be built where four houses (207 Meade, 738 and 742 Boldt, and 739 Alton) currently stand on the eastern edge of The Quad. This building will be four stories tall (plus basement).

The building will consist mostly of doubles and quads. The quads will basically be two doubles connected by a joining door, spiral staircase or a fireman’s pole. Maybe the quads would also get a balcony. However, the rooms will be modest in size (think a bit smaller than Plantz and Trever Halls’ rooms). The rationale behind the smaller rooms is that in a strong community, we want people outside their rooms and thus these rooms will by nature tend to be more utilitarian. For that reason, while we sacrifice the niceness of our personal rooms, the communal spaces will be much more welcoming. The bedrooms will, however, have good sound insulation (to keep you from hearing your neighbor’s unmentionable activities) as well as large windows and mini-fridges.

There will be an area for covered bicycle parking included in the design of the building.

Each floor will have a lounge complete with projector and speakers (much like the classrooms). Additionally, each lounge will have a different game, such as pool, Foosball, ping pong and Space Invaders.

Moreover, on the first floor, there will a lounge akin to the Great Room at Björklunden: spacious, with big fluffy couches, wood floors, a fire place, a stocked bookshelf, vaulted ceiling and no movie projector. This room will look out to the sprawling Quad.

This building will have air conditioning (and all the people rejoiced); however, the student rooms will not. Only the communal rooms such as the Great Room, the lounges, bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, basement and lobby will have air conditioning. This, again, is to get people to spend more time around each other rather than in their rooms.

There will be many security cameras around the building to ward off any illegal or unwanted activities.

There will be trash chutes large enough for pizza boxes. These chutes will take the garbage straight into the incinerators which help power the building.

There will be several “secret rooms”.

There will be communal bathrooms. If people choose to stay in their rooms and not be part of the community, they should at least be forced to join the crowd when they use the bathroom. Further, the bathrooms will have shelves to store shower caddies and chairs for sitting.

The basement will be equipped with several high-tech practice rooms, complete with built-in recording and play-back equipment. Also in the basement will be a basic gym furnished with a treadmill, elliptical, bike, dumbbells and an all-in-one weight machine. Most importantly, the basement will have two bowling lanes.

Water fountains will be ample and the elevator will be fast.

As long as the quad will be torn up, we will be building a duel-level, fully underground parking structure under the quad. You’re welcome.

There you have it, a residence hall in which you actually wouldn’t mind living!

You heard it first from Specht Pages!