As it currently exists, the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development is essentially confined to a small section in the basement of Dewey Hall. According to the Warner School’s website there are about 3,000 students split between the Eastman School of Music, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the William E. Simon School of Business Administration, the School of Nursing and the Warner School of Education and Human Development — the five graduate schools at the University of Rochester. Most of these graduate schools have access to their own building, campus or even hospital. So while the Warner School’s enrollment may be relatively small, they deserve better than a small hallway in Dewey Hall’s basement.
The current location is cramped and very limited — the school’s offices are small with windows that hardly give a view to the outside. Warner School leadership has been working in a space where no one would want to spend a significant amount of time and using UR’s buildings for classes, though the majority of these classes are still confined to Dewey. It’s exciting to hear that the University has finally rewarded the Warner School with this much-needed building, though at an unfortunate price. This new building will take up some of the limited green space on the Wilson quadrangle. This quad is always used for Yellowjacket Weekend and D-Day festivities – losing this area will take away space from our annual festivals and, in general, break up the symmetry of the Wilson quad.
While this new building’s location isn’t ideal, this is due to limited space. After the construction of the newer parts of the Hajim section of campus, there wasn’t much remaining space for more additions. So, while the location may upset students who fear the loss of this space, there isn’t really any choice of location. The Warner School doesn’t deserve to be punished just because there isn’t a perfect spot for their building. The University and the LeChase family, who have donated funds to go towards the building’s construction, have come together to give a well-deserving school an opportunity for growth and excellence that it has needed but been unable to achieve for a long time. Hopefully the construction of the Raymond F. LeChase Building will help our school of education to grow and turn out more highly trained educators.