Law Building Project Update - September 16, 2013
The Design Phase of the School of Law's building project is now underway. This phase of the addition and renovation to the law school facility begins with a comprehensive review of existing uses of the space. That sets the stage for the solicitation and consideration of ideas and insights as the design is developed. Since the August 21 update, the following steps have occurred:
Dean Rand and members of the Building Planning Committee have held information sessions over the last few weeks. The incoming students of the Class of 2016 were briefed on the building project at the end of their Orientation Week. The scheduled Deans' Forum in September was used to provide the entire law school community with a similar briefing. Specific Design Focus Teams have also been meeting to discuss the ways in which they can operate most effectively. The Faculty & Academic Program DFT, for example, has tapped into the expertise of the university's Office of Instructional Design and toured the Student-Centered Active Learning Environment (SCALE-UP) classroom that opened in Fall 2012. The Team also scheduled an opportunity for faculty to visit the new building of the College of Education & Human Development to see how technology innovations have been integrated into that design.
In preparation for the first Design Workshop later this month, the Building Planning Committee has been gathering information for our architectural team. This includes current and recent uses of classrooms and other instructional space, administrative offices, library operations, and student areas. The architect firm has been provided with the university's building plans for the existing structure and is conducting surveys to determine the accuracy of those documents. Because retaining the distinctive historical character of the original law school building has been identified as an important consideration in the design planning, a set of photographs of the interior of the building in previous decades has been compiled by Phyllis Trelfa in the Dean's Office.
The information and opinion gathering will continue with a September 23 survey of all members of the law school community. The survey instrument will be sent to faculty, students, staff, and the building project's External Advisory Panel. The questions address such matters as what factors are significant in people's decision-making about enrolling, teaching, or working at the law school, what features should be included in the new design, and what works well and poorly in the current space.
Workshop #1 – Design Programming
Our architectural team will spend two days on campus – September 24 and 25 – conducting a design programming workshop. They will tour the building with groups of users, conduct listening sessions with users, and familiarize themselves with the academic mission, curriculum, and support services offered by the law school. The primary focus of this workshop is how the law school operates – instruction, research, service to constituencies, collaboration, gathering, study and social space – and how the operations could be enhanced as a result of the building project. Working with that information, the architectural team will prepare for a second workshop – tentatively scheduled for the week of October 21 – for a design visioning process that explores the possibilities that are opened up by the renovation of and addition to the School of Law and Law Library building.
Survey will be made available on Monday, September 23.The Design Programming Workshop will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 24 and 25, with the architectural team. A detailed schedule will be released as soon as it has been finalized.