The Leonard Formal Lounge is undergoing renovations to become a new study and social space for North side residents and will open next month, according to Julie Eller, assistant director of training and leadership development for Housing and Dining Programs.
Housing and Dining chose to renovate the Leonard Formal Lounge as a Perch-like space because of previous student feedback. Many students express a desire for more places to study on campus during final exams, according to Eller.
Eller said the lounge is scheduled to open around April 18, depending on how long it takes Facilities Management to paint and furnish the room. It will be available for use through the end of the semester.
Hours of operation will tentatively be 8 p.m. to midnight, but are subject to change based on student feedback.
“With finals coming up, it’s another space to offer students to study,” she said. “It’ll be nice to have a space other than the library for North side students to go.”
The lounge will differ from the Leonard Chancery in its size and more secluded location, which provides fewer distractions, according to Eller. But unlike the Perch, the lounge will not serve food or drink.
Eller said the lounge will be staffed by Housing and Dining student employees through the end of the school year, but its several job openings will be offered campus-wide through the AU student jobs website next semester.
Sofa-like chairs with lamps and square tables for pair or group studying and other furniture will be added to the back of the room, which is being designed as a reading space. The front of the room will feature a flat-screen television and an L-shaped couch for large groups and social events, according to Eller.
Money for the project comes from a project budget of $20,000, which is funded by commissions from Housing and Dining’s vendor sales, such as lofts and rental refrigerators, Eller said.
The space will undergo further decoration changes during the summer before reopening next semester. Eller said Housing and Dining hopes to get student input when renaming the lounge in the fall.