January 31, 1997

WSU Law School to receive $15.6 million for new building and facelift

A new 51,000-square-foot Law School building and renovation of the existing law library and faculty office building have been approved by the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

Plans allow for a May 1999 groundbreaking and construction to be completed in August 2000.

The $15.6 million project will be paid for by approximately $5.4 million in bond sale proceeds; $3 million from direct central university contributions, $1.6 million from other university sources, primarily from budget savings related to the project; and $5.6 million from an ongoing capital campaign. To assist with the cash flow funding of the project during the collection period of pledges from the capital campaign, the administration can borrow up to $5million from the university's cash pool to be repaid from the cash contributions when received.

WSU President Irvin D. Reid commended law Dean Joan Mahoney for her efforts on behalf of the project.

"She has made it her personal quest to find this $5 million to pay back the cash fund," Reid told the board. "She has a very vigorous capital campaign going on that we will certainly use as a prototype for the university-wide capital campaign in the future."

The project will replace the existing Law School Annex, which was constructed as a temporary structure in 1971. A new building will consolidate Law School admissions, financial aid, student records and registration, academic affairs and support and career services in a single, first floor, front door location. Five seminar rooms, the moot and trial courtrooms and professional publications office will be moved to the new building. This will allow for an additional 15,500 square feet of space in the library and will alleviate crowded conditions in the collection.

The trial court will be established in a new 250-seat auditorium and a new multimedia, distance learning classroom also is included in the academic spaces of the new building. The number of faculty offices will increase from 36 to47.

The mechanical and electrical systems in the existing building will be renovated and the technology infrastructure significantly expanded. A new entrance on Palmer will be added.

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