Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 16, 2024

New Freshman Quad Annex worth $2M to replace MSE

By THE TENT | April 1, 2024

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COURTESY OF DONALD RANIELS

Students are eager to see the new Freshman Quad Annex become a permanent fixture on Homewood Campus.

APRIL FOOL’S: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fool’s edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting.

On Monday, April 1, the University announced that the Freshman Quad Annex will be back on campus in Fall 2024 to serve as an additional study space while the Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE) is under renovation. The News-Letter previously raised concerns about the lack of study spaces for students, and we are pleased to see the University take such concrete and effective action. 

The Freshman Quad Annex was initially built on Freshman Quad during the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly became a popular hangout and study spot for students. In an interview with The News-Letter, junior Gerrid Ufit described his experience with the annex. 

“The annex was the best part of my freshman year,” he said. “My friends and I would spend Friday nights hanging out and playing board games in the annex, and it was always filled with students.”

During its existence, the Freshman Quad Annex functioned much like a student center would — as a central location for campus activities and socialization — and The News-Letter is grateful to see it returning. 

Following the tear-down of the annex in 2022 as campus COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, students mourned the loss of this hub of campus life. This fall is a troubling time for student life: With MSE being closed for renovations and the Hopkins Student Center remaining under construction, the return of the annex can not have been at a better time. We are glad the University is listening to our concerns and creating another space on campus to fill the void left by MSE’s absence and the Hopkins Student Center’s continually delayed opening.

In addition, the University has taken steps to make the new annex grander than its previous iteration! The new annex will be three stories tall, contain an elevator and will also have its own dining hall, called the Natural Meal Cafe. The construction is estimated to begin in April of 2024, with a cost of up to $2 million. To those of you worried that this new annex will change from its traditional sleek white tent, Hopkins has stated that the structure will continue to be a white tent from the exterior in order to stay true to its original form. The new annex will be located in the optimal position on Freshman Quad in order to simultaneously address student concerns that there is too much open green space on the quad. 

In an interview with The News-Letter, freshman Sid Chat-Wuriar expressed his irritation with Freshman Quad and joy at the new addition. 

“The open green space on Freshman Quad is not aesthetic at all,” he said. “It is too barren and empty, and I’m glad the annex will be built there.” 

If the Freshman Quad Annex is as widely utilized and loved by students as it was during the pandemic, a member of the administration using the pseudonym Donald Raniels stated to The News-Letter that the University would be open to permanently keeping the annex open while halting construction of MSE and the Hopkins Student Center. 

“If students love the space as much as they loved the previous annex, the thought amongst administrators is that [MSE] and the [Hopkins] Student Center would no longer be needed and construction could be stopped,” Raniels said.

The Freshman Quad Annex is a structure that we have dearly missed since its departure, and we at The News-Letter support the annex being made a permanent feature of Homewood Campus. 


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