The university is currently spending upwards of $16 million to change from which direction you walk into the building in addition to renovating the second floor. Meanwhile, the air conditioning system is unable to effectively cool the building which forces the building’s closure and eliminates hundreds of thousands of square feet meant to be dedicated for student space.
While the rapid change in weather is certainly uncharacteristic, Georgetown University and American University had no such closures in the same time period. It is unheard of that a research institution must shut the doors to its main library during the academic year “due to excessive heat”.
This calls into question the priorities of the university and how the administration chooses which buildings receive renovations and in which order. “The way Trachtenberg saw it, selling George Washington over the other schools was like selling one brand of vodka over another. Vodka, he points out, is a colorless, odorless liquid that varies little by maker. He realized the same was true among national private universities: It was as simple as raising the price and upgrading the packaging to create the illusion of quality.”
It is ironic that our library seems to be most significant building on campus untouched by this “illusion of quality” and that tours for prospective students avoid entering undoubtedly due its poor state.
The emphasis needs to be on improving the academic experience of current students and not solely on improving the illusion of quality for prospective students.