Duquès Hall is about to get upgraded.
Lounges on four floors in the School of Business’ building will be fitted with a new set of furniture some time in the next couple of weeks, after students pushed for more space to use on campus, Linda Livingstone, the dean of the school, said in an interview this week.
An alumnus financed the cost of the furniture to kick-start a long-term renovation of the lounges, which haven’t been updated since the building opened in 2006. University spokesman Jason Shevrin declined to name the donor, the amount of the gift and a timeline on the changes to the lounges.
Livingstone said the new furniture was a “direct result” of students’ requests for more space to work on campus.
“I think the students are really excited about making use of much more usable space,” she said. “Our students have a much better place to go between classes to study and socialize.”
A group of staff and students, including members of the Undergraduate Business Association, helped to pick out the new furniture for the glass-walled rooms, or “fishbowls,” Livingstone said.
“There’ll be better places to study going forward, but that’s something we’re excited about and will be good for the students and a very visible opportunity for them to engage more and to have better space in the building, in what’s already a wonderful building,” she said.
University officials have also historically shown interest in providing students with more space to study and spend time around campus. The first floor of Gelman Library will be renovated as early as this fall to create more student space.
Damon Dickinson, a senior and the president of the Undergraduate Business Association, said the buildings’ lounges will also see a face-lift with new wiring, painting and whiteboards. The refreshed lounges, which “have remained largely untouched and underutilized” since the building opened, are a “real win for the GWSB student population,” he said in an email.
“With GW being an urban campus, having space for student organizations to meet and collaborate is extremely important,” Dickinson said.
He added that some lounges ‒ like the ones on the second and fourth floors ‒ are reserved for undergraduates, but another on the fifth floor is for both graduates and undergraduates. The third floor lounge will mainly serve the school’s career center, but students can still spend time there whenever they would like, he said.
“The improved space with modernized amenities is expected to lead to a more communal working environment, which should not only increase student productivity but also help foster a greater sense of community in GWSB,” Dickinson said.
Ryan Lasker and Colleen Murphy contributed reporting.