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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Leopard’s Lair opens in Farinon basement

Photo by Ari Ismail for The Lafayette
The Leopard’s Lair offers space for student groups to hold events.

Leopard’s Lair, the college’s newest student space, officially debuted in the basement of Farinon College Center this summer.

Located across from the post office, it was one of the major construction projects carried out this summer during the master plan process. The new space shares a name with the previous student center that was located in Marquis Hall before Farinon was built in 1989.

Previously, the college bookstore occupied the venue of the new Leopard’s Lair, until moving to its current location at the corner of McCartney and High Streets. According to Audra Kahr, the college’s vice president of finance and business administration, the college was considering different options for the unused area until Student Government suggested using it as a student space.

Aegis Property Group, a Philadelphia-based real estate consulting firm, managed the design and construction, which began at the end of February and was completed in the middle of August. Before the school year even began, the area hosted LEO training.

“It’s meant for a student gathering space, a collaboration space, that’s for the students [and] by the students,” Kahr said.

The Leopard’s Lair has a lounge, meeting rooms and two gender-neutral restrooms. In addition to offering a new study and social zone, the Pard Pantry is now permanently located in one of the new rooms. Student Government, which contributed $400,000 to the construction of the space, held its first public meeting in the Leopard’s Lair on Aug. 31.

The area is intended to host student events and hangouts.

“I definitely think that it’s built for it,” Zubair Ali ’24 said. “It’s cute. My friends are talking about it. During Laf-Lehigh, we’ll take cute photos here in our little outfits … It’s giving McCartney vibes.”

“I think the space is great,” Maia Merriman ’26 said. “It’s very functional.” 

According to Scott Kennedy, director of facilities operations, developers solicited student input while creating the new space’s design. They invited students to test furniture prototypes and complete an associated survey ranking them. In all, 127 students responded. Developers also met with Student Government to discuss the plans.

“All feedback was considered and incorporated to the best of our ability to provide a space the students would enjoy and be proud of,” Kennedy wrote in an email.

“Last year, [the space] wasn’t used at all, so having the space to hang out and eat some food is really great,” Merriman said. 

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Ari Ismail
Ari Ismail, Staff Photographer

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    Tom O’ReillySep 17, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    The Leopard’s Lair renovations should have been paid for by the College, not Student Government. Student Government is not in the infrastructure/capital spending business. That’s what institutions do

    Given Student Government did fund this capital project it deserves a share of the net revenues that Farinon generates. The Leopard’s Lair brings students into Farinon who then spend money, dining or otherwise. Student Government deserves a return on its investment.