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Law Profs Discuss Renovations

Faculty Postpones Decision on Construction in School's Quad

By Jonathan M. Berlin

The Law School's faculty spent most of yesterday afternoon discussing proposals for what could be the school's most ambitious construction and renovation in nearly 20 years, but put off making any decision for at least two weeks.

At a two-and-a-half-hour meeting of the school's entire faculty, several professors detailed possible ways the school could undertake multi-million dollar renovations on Langdell Hall, the school's 84-year old central library.

Included in the presentations--made primarily by members of a joint student-faculty space committee--was a discussion of whether the Law School should erect a four-story building in its main quadrangle and whether such a structure should primarily be used to house faculty offices or classrooms displaced by the Langdell renovations.

Such a new building would represent the first large-scale construction at the Law School since Pound and Griswold Halls entered its landscape in the early 1970s.

But while committee members had expressed hope earlier in the week that the faculty would make some kind of decision yesterday, time considerations did not permit for much deliberation after the presentations, leaving few clues of where the overall faculty stands on the issue.

"There were people who were for it and people who were critical," said Fairchild Professor of Law Andrew L. Kaufman, who chairs the space committee. "The real question is numbers, and we won't know that for two weeks."

Last week, the space committee released a report which recommended that the school extensively renovate Langdell by improving its mechanical and electrical systems, as well as by adding several reading rooms throughout its stacks.

The committee also recommended that the Law School construct a four-story, 23,000 square-foot building in the northern part of Holmes Field, the school's main quadrangle, and use it primarily to house faculty offices which would be displaced by the library's new design.

In an earlier report that came out last spring, the committee had cited two primary alternatives--using the Holmes' building for classrooms or erecting a similar structure on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Everett St.--as viable options. But last week the committee came down hard in favor of building on the Holmes' site and using it for faculty space, citing this option's possibilities for improving faculty camaraderie.

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