ASU breaks ground on downtown Phoenix law school

Nov 13, 2014, 5:31 PM | Updated: 5:31 pm

PHOENIX — Arizona State University broke ground on what will become the new home of its law school on Thursday morning.

The state’s largest university continues to expand outside of its main campus in Tempe, Ariz., with the addition of the new $129-million, six-story building that will be called the Arizona Center for Law and Society.

The school, located next to ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at First and Taylor streets, will be the latest in a line of multi-million dollar educational facilities coming to downtown Phoenix.

“There will be seven large construction cranes donning the skyline next year working on this project … and other private-sector projects,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Stanton said the success and growth of education in downtown is closely tied to the future success of Phoenix and he and the council want to continue to foster that growth within the city.

ASU President Michael Crow said the school’s open and communal design will help make it unlike any other law school in the country.

“So you’re seeing here with this groundbreaking, the launching of America’s great and tremendous, unbelievable model for a law school of the future—right here,” he said.

The building will be approximately 280,000 square feet, complete with 18 rooms for classes, a large lecture hall and six seminar rooms as well as another 11 other classrooms that can be used for alternate purposes.

Crow said the school being located in a major metropolitan city — and just blocks from the state legislative and judicial hub — also helps create a unique learning experience.

“We’re forging the new way and Arizona is the place where you can do that,” he said.

Construction of the school will be completed in the summer of 2016 and will accept its first students in the fall semester.

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ASU breaks ground on downtown Phoenix law school