New College of Law building plan officially approved | News

The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved a $40 million plan Tuesday to renovate Carl H. Lindner Hall into a new building for the College of Law.

“This plan exemplifies the upward trajectory of our law school,” Verna Williams, interim dean of the College of Law, said in a press release. “The proposed plan will create a state-of-the art facility in the heart of UC’s Uptown campus that will meet the innovative needs of our students for years to come, and supports the interdisciplinary study and expertise that the field of law requires.”

The plan is a result of a $1 million design study for constructing a new building on campus. The study, which spent just $39,600 of those funds, indicated renovation of Lindner Hall to be the best option, said Mary Beth McGrew, UC architect and senior associate vice president of planning, design and construction.

Last year, a plan to move the College of Law to The Banks was also discussed.

The university ended up voting down (5-4) the move to go downtown due to finances, UC officials told the Enquirer. The building at The Banks would have cost approximately $61 million, with additional fees for students and faculty members.

The College of Law needs to be renovated due to its age, as it contains major systems at the end of their useful operating spans, McGrew said in the release. The current College of Law building was originally constructed in 1925, with updates in 1960 and 1980.

“Renovation or adaptive reuse of the existing structure is not a good option because the original structure and the subsequent additions mean there are differing floor heights, construction types and layouts throughout the structure,” McGrew said. “In looking at the fit of this facility to the needs of today’s learning environment, we found that the numbers, types and arrangements of spaces don’t really match today’s needs.”

The building should set the standard for law schools for years to come, Williams said.

The university will continue to study the future of the Calhoun Corridor, which includes the current College of Law, according to the release.

Following the completion of new Lindner College of Business building, construction is estimated to begin in the fall of 2019. The expected completion date is sometime in 2021.