The Fagles Resource Center for Studies in the Classics, known to most students as simply “the Fagles Room,” will close next week. In a December 20 statement, Principal Gary Snyder explained the decision to seal off the space, which is seen by English teachers as a sanctuary of enlightened Homeric thought.
“The Fagles Resource Center for Studies in the Classics has been overrun with kudzu vines for months now, I think,” Snyder wrote. “I haven’t actually seen it, at least not in the last few years. But sources who have been to the Center sometime in the last 18 months—and very few people have—say that it is entirely impossible to see from one side of the room to the other, so overrun it is with greenery.”
An investigation into the state of the Center for Studies in the Classics was launched on December 17, after a student passed out from a stench that emanated from the room. Sources now believe that that stench came from the rotting corpse of a long-dead squirrel. The investigation confirmed everyone’s belief that the Center is a waste of space, and an advisory body suggested on December 19 that the room be closed for demolition.
The Envirothon team was quick to protest this proposal, however, stating that the room has presented the students with opportunities for ecological observation and that destroying it would threaten the variety of endangered species it hosts. Emma Leuchten ’15, a member of the team, said “Most of our practices take place there. It’s become a home for many species which otherwise wouldn’t be able to survive in Princeton.”
In its undisturbed state, the Fagles Resource Center for Studies in the Classics (which the Envirothon team has renamed the Fagles Environmental Observation Room) welcomed a multitude of rare plant and animal species and is currently listed among the world’s most biodiverse locations.
Many students, though, are not concerned about the room’s demolition—in fact, very few are aware that the space exists at all.
“The Fagles Resource Center for Studies in the Classics?” asked Danny Eisgruber ’16. “Where is that?”
“Oh, I know where the Fagles Center is,” said Julie Bond ’15. “[I’m] pretty sure my health class meets in there—it’s next to the weight room, right? Or actually, I’m think it’s in that long math hallway. Yeah, it’s definitely right next to the Ideas Center.”
The Fagles Center is actually a small room above the school’s Learning Commons (a space that also seems perilously vulnerable to an invasion by plant life). Snyder himself is unsure of how it came to exist, but Assistant Principal Jared Warren said he had an explanation.
“Rupert Fagles, I believe, was a scholar of classical literature,” he said. “You know—Homer and stuff. The room was dedicated to him in 1947. Frankly, I couldn’t tell you what they put in there—I’ve never been inside. But yeah, it was definitely created for a purpose. Most students aren’t aware of that. I don’t think any of them actually read The Odyssey, so how can we really expect them to know what the room is for?”
“Jared Warren?” asked Eisgruber. “Who is that?”
The closing comes as a shock to the small percentage of PHS students in the “PHS CLUB LEADER INFO PAGE” Facebook group who recently participated in an online survey to rededicate the learning center as “The Bagels Room.”
“I was sooo excited for this delicious bagel resource that would have benefitted the entire PHS community!”, said Janie Kim ’15, CLUB LEADER and Spork Editor-in-Chief. “Oh well. Hopefully hungry PHS students can fill up on Assistant Principal Jared Warren’s ‘Simple Sunday Pot Roast’: the recipe is in last month’s issue of Spork!”
The center’s renaissance as Bagels Room was to take place in time for the class of 2015’s post-prom event, “Bagel Extravaganza,” following the extreme success of last year’s post-prom event at PJ’s Pancake House. The idea of the Bagels Room garnered ten CLUB LEADER votes, with “The Kegels Room” in second place at three votes.