Morey Hall lags behind other academic buildings in its general condition.

Source: Photographer: Laura Gomez.

When that lush greenery blooms among the 1800s industrial-style architecture in the first week of spring, students can at least take in the sunlight and forget for a little while about their workloads. Even the banks of the Genesee, despite the widespread jokes about the river’s contents and radioactivity level, look positively inviting once the grass has regained its color.

Most of the academic buildings are in similarly good condition, excepting the occasional missing roof tile or similar isolated issue. Beyond being clean, accessible and provided with all necessary technology, they also look modern and inviting. Unsurprisingly, given the generous outlay and its relative novelty, Goergen Hall is a particularly handsome piece of interior (and exterior) design. Presumably the University’s newest construction project, the new home of the Warner School of Education, will follow a similar ethic.

The one unfortunate exception is Morey Hall, home of the University’s English and Art History departments and the location of many humanities classes. As far as cleanliness and technology are concerned, facilities and Class Tech do their jobs properly: It’s not as if the building is infested with cobwebs or (with the exception of thefts earlier this semester) classrooms lack projectors or other key equipment.

That being said, when compared to its neighboring buildings on the Academic Quad, to say nothing of other buildings on campus, Morey definitely lags behind. For starters, it lacks an elevator, unlike Dewey, Bausch & Lomb and Lattimore. With one exception, the classrooms in Morey are in decidedly worse condition than their counterparts elsewhere. The lighting in the corridors is sparse at best (though this is somewhat offset by the sunlight in the classrooms themselves), several of the roofs are in rather dilapidated condition and even some of the chairs professors use have tattered upholstery. Though localized renovations have been carried out in other academic buildings in the last few years, Morey seems to have been ignored by the administration.

A series of very small upgrades — whiteboards, to reduce chalk dust; new chairs for the classrooms; installing more or stronger lighting — would go a long way towards improving the look of the building and make students feel more welcome inside it.

And isn’t that really an essential element of any academic building?

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