Harvard Law School (HLS) students, staff and administrators celebrated the reopening of Hemenway Gym yesterday afternoon after $150,000 of renovations.
The renovation, which took three weeks to complete, was an attempt to address students' dissatisfaction with the Law School athletic facilities. In a survey conducted by McKinsey and Co., students rated their satisfaction with athletic facilities a 1.5 on a scale of one to seven on average.
The facility--which is owned and operated by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS)--received a new weight room, improved aerobics area and $100,000 of new fitness equipment.
FAS administrators have said in the past that space close to the yard is invaluable, but have also said FAS does not currently have any plans to reclaim the building for its own use.
"If a pressing academic priority arose, we might consider converting Hemenway into something different," David A. Zewinski '76, associate dean for physical resources and planning in FAS, told The Crimson last month. "There wasn't any high priority need to invest in Hemenway."
Members of the HLS Council--the law school's student government--came up with the proposal for renovations, which was then approved by Dean of the Faculty of Law Robert C. Clark.
Robert Hass '72, chair of the board and chief executive officer of Haas Wheat & Partners Incorporated, a Dallas-based investment firm, provided a gift that financed the renovation.
The creation of the new weight room involved knocking down a dividing wall between two squash courts, replacing two miniature doorways with regular size doorways, laying rubber flooring and adding mirrors and fans.
The renovation also involved replacing the top floor of the aerobic area and painting and repairing the ceiling.
The new fitness equipment includes five new Precor treadmills, four new Precor elliptical cross-trainers and five new exercise bikes.
Downstairs, the weight room features Icarian free weight equipment, two bench presses, an incline press, a squat rack, a cable crossover jungle gym, free weights by Jade, several selectorized machines and other pieces of equipment.
HLS students said they were impressed by the new additions.
"It's fantastic and long overdue," said Clement S. Roberts, a third-year law student.
Other students anticipated increased traffic at the gym.
"It's incredible," said Yolanda M. Price, a first-year law student. "I come here already, but I think a lot more people will come here instead of getting a private membership."
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