The Arizona State University downtown campus will have another large and brand-new facility now that the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is finalizing plans for a 250,000 sq ft, six story, $130 million move from the Tempe campus.
Originally announced in 2011, the city of Phoenix — the owner of the land bounded by Taylor, Polk, First and Second streets — recently approved $12 million towards the project. ASU and the city of Phoenix released designs earlier this week. It will include two levels of underground parking and direct ground level access to public sidewalks and plazas. Phoenix-based Jones Studio and New York-based Ennead Architects are collaborating on the design.
“Our partners at ASU have proposed a very exciting development and benefit for Phoenix,” said Greg Stanton, mayor of Phoenix. “This project presents a long-term educational, economic and social opportunity that can help our city for years to come.”
The mission of the facility is three-pronged, according to ASU: amplify the connection between society and law, improve access to justice and ensure law graduates can launch meaningful and sustainable careers.
“This is more than just a move to a new building,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. “It is a major part of our city and state’s future. This move will establish Phoenix and Arizona as the home of a great educational institution and will greatly contribute to the well-being of our fellow citizens.”
Douglas J. Sylvester, Dean of the College of Law, said the Center is designed to increase the public’s understanding of justice through ongoing events and displays.
“The Arizona Center for Law and Society has been designed, at every stage, to engage and educate the public about the positive role that law plays in everyday lives,” Sylvester said.
In December 2012, the City Council approved using $12 million from the city’s Downtown Community Reinvestment Fund to help finance the project. The center is still awaiting final approval from the Arizona Board of Regents, and ground is expected to be broken on the new college of law in 2014 with completion tentatively set for 2015.
ASU has built and renovated several facilities for its new downtown campus since it was launched in 2006, including those that serve the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, the Nursing unit, the Walter Cronkite School of Mass Communication and many more.