Wednesday, January 17, 2007

That other law school to break ground

Law school to break ground

Penn State University will break ground Thursday on a proposed $60 million campus for Dickinson School of Law in State College, marking the start of construction.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes, university officials and project architects will take part in the 10 a.m. ceremony at the site of the school’s future home along Park Avenue near Beaver Stadium.

The proposed 113,000-square-foot building is part of the university’s $110 million plan for new, electronically connected law school facilities in State College and Carlisle.

Officials said Monday they hope to host a ground breaking in Carlisle by late spring or early summer.

Gifts at the end of 2006 pushed the Carlisle project total to the $50 million level and officials have said the preservation of Trickett Hall will be the centerpiece of a new design by the project architect, Polshek Partnership Architects.

Design approved

In September, Penn State trustees approved final design of the three-story University Park facility, which will be built next to the future university arboretum and close to the business and forest resources buildings.

The new structure will feature a glass-enclosed library and reading room, study and gathering spaces, a law clinic for pro bono legal services, a 250-seat auditorium and a high-tech-equipped courtroom.

Dickinson School of Law expects to occupy the new facility in January 2009. Until then, the Beam Building on Park Avenue is serving as the law school’s home in University Park.

Penn State President Graham B. Spanier; Cynthia A. Baldwin, chair of Penn State’s board of trustees; and Philip J. McConnaughay, dean of The Dickinson School of Law, will lead the ceremony.

Polshek Partnership will be represented by partners Richard M. Olcott and Timothy P. Hartung.

Cortes, a 1999 graduate of The Dickinson School of Law, also will participate in the ceremony.

A reception will follow in the President’s Hall of The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

"The law school is thrilled to commence construction on what will be a world-class home for one of the nation’s finest law schools," McConnaughay said.

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