Law Building Project Update - August 21, 2013
The UND School of Law addition and renovation project experienced real momentum during the first three weeks of August. As the school moves into the academic year, the project's Design Phase will bring together the architectural design team with a Building Planning Committee, Design Focus Teams, and the entire law school community to solicit ideas, explore best practices and options, and refine a design that provides the school with a facility that promotes the highest quality program of instruction.
Architectural Team Selected
The University appointed an Agency Selection Committee pursuant to state law (ND Century Code 48-01.2; ND Century Code 54-44.7; SBHE Policy 902.5) to solicit proposals to provide architectural services for the law school building project.
The selection committee interviewed three architect firms on August 6 and recommended that the University employ ICON Architectural Group of Grand Forks, ND, in partnership with SHW Group as the architects.
Building Planning Committee Appointed
The University also appointed a 7-member Building Planning Committee co-chaired by School of Law Dean Kathryn Rand and Professor Paul LeBel, former Dean and former Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs. UND President Robert Kelley charged the Committee with responsibility for leading the various phases of the building project, as well as for ensuring effective coordination, implementation, and communication throughout the project. The intent is to have a structure for the Committee's work that is effective, efficient, and inclusive, and toward that end, the President endorsed the concept of Design Focus Teams to serve as liaisons with stakeholders within the School of Law community and with the Building Planning Committee.
The purpose of the Design Focus Teams is to ensure that (a) the design phase of the building project is as fully participatory and informed as possible, and (b) information is accessible to and shared widely within the School of Law community. The Design Focus Teams will liaison with their designated stakeholders within the School of Law community and with the Building Planning Committee. Each Team will have a Team Leader who serves on the Building Planning Committee and is charged with coordinating the Team's work. Each Team will facilitate robust and informed input of and communication with their designated stakeholders during the planning process, with the goal of maximizing opportunities for stakeholders to provide perspectives, insights, needs, and requests to inform the architectural design process. The Teams also will work together to provide opportunities for design input to every member of the School of Law community and to encourage collaborative input among stakeholders.
The Design Focus Team leaders and members are:
Faculty & Educational Program Design Focus Team
Mike McGinniss/Team Leader
Responsible for serving as representatives of and liaisons to faculty, with attention to:
·First-year & upper-level curriculum
·Experiential learning & skills instruction
·Academic & co-curricular programs
·Faculty resources & workspace
·Classrooms & other educational space
Administrative & Support Services Design Focus Team
Trish Hodny/Team Leader
Responsible for serving as representatives of and liaisons to administrative staff, with attention to:
·Staff resources & workspace
·Team-based & collaborative environments
·Special programs space
Student Life & Student Experience Design Focus Team
Brad Parrish/Team Leader
SBA President (Leah Leibl)
2L student (Austin Lafferty)
Responsible for serving as representatives of and liaisons to Student Life staff and student body, as well as other student services, with attention to:
·Student services, including Student Life, Admissions & Records, Career Services, Law Library, etc.
·Student co-curricular and extra-curricular organizations
·Student study and work space
·Student experience of operational & educational space
Law Library/Information Technology & Services Design Focus Team
Dave Haberman/Team Leader
Responsible for serving as representative of and liaison to library staff, as well as CILT and other University information technology and services, with attention to:
·Law library services and space
·Instructional technology & distance learning
·Student, staff, and faculty technology & information resources
·Public information resources
The initial meeting of the Building Planning Committee was held on August 7. The roles of the Committee and of the Design Focus Teams were discussed, and the major phases of the project from design through occupancy were outlined.
Three preliminary idea generation sessions were held during this period. The sessions were intended to "prime the pump" for various types of meetings that will occur with the architectural team early in the design planning process.
On August 1, the Building Planning Committee co-chairs met with the Thormodsgard Law Library leadership and staff. On August 15, the Building Planning Committee held an informal dinner to introduce the members of the architectural team. On August 16, the architectural team met with the law faculty as part of a faculty retreat agenda.
Each session was useful in directing thought to the programmatic questions that will identify what the law school community considers to be the most critical factors about legal education and support services. In effect, the sessions previewed the early stages of the design planning process, where people will be encouraged to "think big" about the nature of legal education, the needs of future generations of law students, and how a facility can best enhance the work of faculty and staff in meeting those needs.
A Look Ahead
September and October will be devoted to an intensive and inclusive process of working with the architectural team on design planning. The details of that process will be developed by the Building Planning Committee drawing on the experience and expertise of the architectural team in working with other law schools on building projects. The design planning will invite active engagement by all faculty, staff, and students, as well as by members of the bench and bar. Schedules of design planning activities will be posted when available.