What benefits will the Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing project bring to the School?
Wasserstein Hall will include classrooms designed for 21st century law teaching. The recent reduction in first-year section sizes has greatly enhanced the student experience, but it has created a mismatch between classroom size and section size. In addition, some existing classrooms have limited accessibility and inadequate technology. Wasserstein Hall will help create a much-needed inventory of classroom sizes and configurations, which will be accessible to all students and technologically up-to-date.
The Caspersen Student Center will serve as home to some of the most important student activities: dining, informal meetings, student organizations, journals, and more. Currently, many of these activities are squeezed into substandard and inadequate spaces across the campus. The Caspersen Student Center will bring these activities together, giving them the room and the proximities they need to thrive. A lounge and dining room will be located on the ground floor, along the main east-west corridor to adjacent to Harkness Commons.
The Clinical Wing will greatly expand opportunities for students to gain hands-on legal experience and, in the process, perform important public service. It will gather together all of the many clinically-oriented programs sponsored by the School, both in Cambridge and elsewhere. HLS students are seeking our clinical opportunities in record numbers; for the first time, we will have the physical spaces we need to support this critical part of the Law School's mission.
In addition, the project will apply for and is expected to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The benefits of LEED according to the USGBC include enhancing and protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, improving air and water quality, reducing solid waste and conserving natural resources. Economic benefits include reducing operating costs, enhancing asset value and profits, improving employee productivity and satisfaction, and optimizing life-cycle economic performance. Finally, health and community benefits include improving air, thermal and acoustic environments, enhancing occupant comfort and health, minimizing strain on local infrastructure and contributing to overall quality of life.