Education

How will $56 million transform the University of Kentucky law school?

Architectural renderings show a planned $56 million renovation of the UK College of Law, with a new entrance that faces Memorial Hall.
Architectural renderings show a planned $56 million renovation of the UK College of Law, with a new entrance that faces Memorial Hall. University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky College of Law unveiled a $56 million renovation plan for its original 1965 building Thursday, and officials say it will provide state-of-the-art teaching and research space for its students.

The changes will include a new main entrance that faces Memorial Hall and enters onto a 122,513-square-foot building, a 26 percent expansion. That space will include 11 new classrooms, a new 185-seat moot court room for trial training, and more than 20 group study rooms. The building also will get a new third floor with three classrooms that can be converted into one large multipurpose room that can accommodate as many as 400 people and can open onto a roof terrace.

“This project goes beyond a building,” UK Law Dean David Brennen said. “This project is about coming together and investing in UK Law’s future, the success of its students, its impact on public understanding of legal issues, and its engagement in law reform. It will certainly help us provide a 21st-century legal education.”

Law school faculty and classes are temporarily housed at the former Lexington Theological Seminary, across South Limestone from the law school. The project is being financed with $35 million in state bonds and $21 million in bonds issued by UK. Those are to be paid back through a combination of general fund money and private fundraising, which continues.

The architects for the project are Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates of New York and Sherman Carter Barnhart of Lexington. The building is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford

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