Law school upgrades

Renovations to the Law School are nearly complete after seven years of planning and ongoing construction.

Though initial phases of the renovation process began in 1999, areas where construction most recently took place include University Yard, Lisner Hall and Bell Hall, said Thomas Morrison, associate dean administrative in the Law School’s Dean’s Office.

Most of the construction in these locations took place over the summer so that the newly refurbished classrooms and office spaces would be ready for the start of the fall semester.

Morrison said the Law School began considering plans for renovation in 1999 when the school recognized its facilities were lacking compared to market basket law schools. Schools in GW’s market basket include Tufts University, University of Miami, Tulane University and Southern Methodist University.

The most recent renovations to Lisner Hall include refurbished upper-floor offices, construction of a large second-floor lounge, and construction of a new classroom and eatery on the first floor, Morrison said.

The Twin Construction Company was commissioned by the Law School to complete these most recent renovations for approximately $5 million, Morrison said.

He added that the second floor lounge will include a student conference center and will face University Yard. A new eatery, the Uptowner Caf?, will be open this fall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The venue will feature outdoor seating on the terrace of Lisner Hall, overlooking University Yard.

Having previously shared office and classroom space with the biology and anthropology departments in Lisner Hall, the renovations better defined the areas for the Law School and the science departments.

“However, square feet-wise, the biology department came out ahead,” said Morrison, referring to the office space exchange with other University departments.

Though neither the biology department nor the anthropology department lost space to the Law School’s renovations, both departments have been inconvenienced by this summer’s construction.

“There have been a lot of hassles … and some students claim they could not come to class during the summer due to the construction,” said Jonathan Higman, office supervisor for the anthropology department.

Higman said the University was able to request that construction be held off during certain days over the summer to allow classes to meet.

A new walkway has also been added in University Yard stretching from the center of the grassy area to the north entrance of Lisner hall.

-Jessica Calefati contributed to this report.

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