The Gaping Bare Void of Brandeis University

You probably don’t think about the Village Space much. Hardly anybody does anymore. It’s that big empty room beneath the Village Skybridge, with paper over the windows. It looks like this:

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It used to be in the news a bit, as the original planned location for Ollie’s Eatery (before safety code restrictions killed that particular dream, and caused me to have to walk up the damn hill when I want 2am pancakes). Then it resurfaced as the prospective Activist Resource Center space (before the cost of allowing activists to use the room was estimated at $200,000-$300,000). Today it lies dormant, another monument to poor campus planning on the part of administration officials.

I find it astounding that Brandeis didn’t actually figure out how to finish the space before completing the Village. As I understand it, the plan was to leave the space until a use could be figured out for it, but money for such indulgences soon ran out. It’s a damn shame, though, because it’s a great site in one of the nicest buildings on campus. ARC could make excellent use of the space, or it could be turned into a Coffee & Pie shop (our campus lacks a good pie shop, as you have surely noticed). Either way, it’s currently a waste and an embarrassment.

$200,000 seems an awful lot to turn an already-existent room into an empty space for activists. What could it need? Paint? Lights? And, anyway, this really too intolerable a blight not to spend a little cash on. Surely there is a benevolent alumnus out there who would like a pie shop named after them?


6 thoughts on “The Gaping Bare Void of Brandeis University”

  1. Maybe that weird 2-foot high, 10’x10′ foundation of bricks that was between East and North adjacent to the old boiler room.

  2. In Peter French’s presentation way back when, he mentioned (almost muttered, really) that to balance the budget, they planned to close a “small building,” which was expected to save about $250,000. I have continued to wonder what would be closed.


  3. …and that suggestion only takes care of what to use it for when campus is mostly empty anyway, so it’s just a complementary function to what could be the main purpose.

  4. I was actually thinking about what would be a cheap way to make it a useful space. Last year in COW-G I mentioned turning it into storage for the summer for students who lived farther away or more international storage. That seems like a simple way to make the space functional. It does seem a shame that it’s just sitting there.

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