The College is currently working on a plan to rejuvenate the Log, the multipurpose facility located on Spring Street. A steering committee of faculty and students is currently discussing how best to use the Log to benefit the College community.
Since the Log was first built in 1941, it has had a rich and varied history. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Log was used as the quintessential student pub before the drinking age was changed to 21. Because all four classes of students were able to drink, the entire student body could socialize in one location.
Once the drinking age was raised to 21, the Log transitioned from a student bar to an all-purpose facility. Currently, during the academic year, the Log is used for many student activities including Tuesday Tutoring for Mount Greylock Regional High School students and the Log Lunch program. “The Log is reserved for events almost as much as Goodrich is, but the uses are so disparate and irregularly scheduled it leaves the Log without a distinct character,” said Steve Klass, vice president for campus life and leader of the Log Steering Committee. The revitalization of the Log plays an important role in the College’s ongoing efforts to create an economically viable Spring Street.
In the beginning of 2013, Klass led meetings with faculty and students who expressed an interest in revitalizing the Log. Over the summer, a group of managers and directors visited the Log with Klass to agree on goals for the future of the building.
According to Klass, these meetings yielded at least five broad goals. First, the Log should have regular and predictable hours of operation to encourage more standardized use of the facility. Ideally, the facility should be open in the evenings, at least four nights during the workweek and always on Friday and Saturday nights. Another goal was that the Log should be a facility students of all ages can attend. The Log should allow students of all years to use the facility together instead of being divided by those who can legally drink and those who cannot. In order to facilitate this interclass bonding, the Log should serve a bar-style menu with many non-
alcoholic beverage choices, possibly including artisanal milkshakes. The group also agreed that the Log should serve alcoholic beverages, but the facility should be a place where students over 21 can drink in a responsible, relaxed environment. By extension, non-drinkers should be just as comfortable sharing the space as those who can drink.
The group also felt that it was important that the Log be a communal facility for the Williamstown community. Students should be able to hold a conversation with a faculty member over a cup of coffee or a beer, and community members should be comfortable coming to the Log for a meal with their families.
The group hopes that the Log can be a quieter, more-relaxed dining option compared to other bars on Spring Street. Any programming – music, comedy, spoken word, etc. – should be overseen and executed by student organizations. The Log should become a place for students to enjoy the work of others in a comfortable atmosphere.
“No decisions have been made at this point, and it will be a while before we even reach the decision-making stage,” Klass said, “We have performed a significant amount of preparatory work and have already invested a lot of time in the collaborative process.” While the College is still deciding precisely how to best proceed with revitalizing the Log, they will most likely pursue a rejuvenation plan to bring the Log back to its community-gathering glory days.