Valerie Navarrete

Kline Biology Tower regulars will notice that the floor-to-ceiling windows on the first floor concourse have been replaced with a wall.

That wall — which was added on Dec. 12 as workers began expanding the space as part of construction of the new Yale Science Building — is now covered in white board material decorated with notes, sayings and pictures scribbled in erasable marker.

The concourse, located next to KBT Cafe, contains multiple tables where students and professors alike work and socialize. Throughout the day, visitors to the building can admire the contents of the whiteboard, prompting conversations between passers-by.

“The messages are pretty positive and some are constructive,” said Marissa Foo Hui Ling, a visiting student from Yale-NUS. “It makes [the concourse] a lot more comfortable and more welcoming.”

The wall features a breadth of content — from a skillful unicolor rendition of Handsome Dan to sketches of bacteria to even math equations.

The expansion of the concourse is one of several additions and renovations Kline Biology Tower will see in the following months, as part of the Yale Science Building project, which started in 2016. Construction crews have nearly finished a structural framework for the new building, and last month Yalies celebrated the project’s progression with a gathering to sign the building’s final structural beam, which is set to be placed in the coming weeks.

As of Monday morning, the concourse wall including several positive phrases including “do one kind thing for someone else today” and “today is a good day to have a good day.” One person wrote, “Is it spring yet? Happy Groundhog Day!” to which another tersely replied, “No.” Another had scrawled, “Where are the windows?”

Yvetta Young, team leader of the KBT Cafe, said she enjoys the creativity of the drawings on the wall.

The temporary addition has physically affected the atmosphere of the concourse: The space is now noticeably smaller and darker with the large windows gone. Those interviewed said the wall’s whiteboard, however, has helped to revitalize the communal feel of Kline Biology Tower’s main level as construction continues.

“Maybe half-and-half might be nice so we could have some windows here, but it’s also nice to have a white board,” Syndi Barish GRD ’22 said. Barish added that once the construction is completed, the concourse could benefit from a permanent whiteboard space.

Michael Whalen ’21, who often frequents Kline Biology Tower, said he enjoys studying in the main levels of the building, agreed that the lack of lighting affects the concourse’s atmosphere.

The large windows in the KBT Cafe are still in place and offer a suitable alternative for students looking for a bright study spot.

The Yale Science Building, set to replace the J.W. Gibbs Laboratory, will boast a 500-seat lecture hall, advanced research facilities and communal spaces. Virtual models of the finished building can be found online at the Yale Science Building website.

The building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.

Marisa Peryer |