Contact: Nancy Guida, 212.431.2325, email@example.com
Project will create a vibrant new environment for school, surrounding community
Endowment now among the largest of all law schools due to library building sale
New York, August 1, 2006 – New York Law School, one of the oldest independent law schools in the U.S., announced today the launch of a $190 million expansion and renovation program that will transform the School’s campus in lower Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood into a cohesive architectural complex nearly double its current size.
The centerpiece of the expansion will be a new glass-enclosed, 200,000-square-foot, nine-level building -- five stories above ground and four below -- which will integrate with the School’s existing three buildings.
When completed, the new complex will bring together the law school’s classrooms, library, student spaces, administrative offices and professional academic centers in a combined 346,000-square-foot environment compared with the 205,000 square feet of space the school occupies today.
Completion of the two-phase building program is slated for spring
Richard A. Matasar, New York Law School’s Dean and President, commented: “This is a truly transformative event for the law school, both in terms of our physical facilities but also for our entire educational enterprise. In launching the school’s extensive expansion and renovation program, we will be able to provide a comfortable, attractive, warm home for every member of the law school community in a state of the art facility that will serve the school for decades. It will showcase every aspect of our program in a law building finer than any in the city.”
New Complex Will Become Civic Landmark for TriBeCa
SmithGroup, one of the nation’s leading architecture, engineering, interiors and planning firms, has designed the law school’s new and renovated facilities. SmithGroup is recognized for its expertise in law school design; among its most recent law school projects are those for university clients Villanova, Vanderbilt, Baylor, Indiana and The Catholic University of America.
“Among our goals is to help establish a new visible identity for New York Law School, while creating a civic landmark for TriBeCa,” explained Mark Maves, SmithGroup’s principal architect for the project.
In describing the impact that the expansion and renovation program will have on the School and the community, Arthur N. Abbey, Chairman of the Law School’s Board of Trustees remarked, “Today’s construction launch is the culmination of many years of deliberation and planning by the Trustees. We are absolutely ecstatic that we will now be able to have a campus that will reflect the vitality of this great institution and provide the most modern facilities for contemporary legal education of any urban law school.”
Maves, a nationally-recognized expert in law school design, described what evolved into one of SmithGroup’s most exceptional law school projects. “New York Law School is truly unique among urban law schools given the School’s lower Manhattan location in the midst of government agencies, courts, law firms, banks, securities exchanges and now a vibrant residential area. Our challenge was to take an assemblage of facilities, including two late 19th century, historically significant, cast iron buildings -- and integrate them with a new structure that could express the school’s vitality and interaction with the community.”
SmithGroup’s design approach emphasizes the principles of clarity and transparency while creating two distinctly different, exterior frontages. The new building, which is now under construction on the school’s old parking lot that faces Leonard Street and West Broadway, will house classrooms, student spaces and the law library. Here, a prominent design feature will be a generous lounge and circulation space at each of the five levels along a 200-foot-long glass wall, creating a transparent envelope to enable passersby to see the flurry of activity inside.
“This transparency on all five levels of the new building will give the impression of the School “inside-out” and greatly contribute visual vibrancy to its neighborhood, well into the evening,” described Maves.
The law school’s other frontage on Worth Street will possess a facade with a completely different character by directly relating to the two existing and distinctive, cast iron former warehouses. Their scale and proportions are echoed in the sleek glass grid of the new architecture that respectfully acknowledges the historical context of TriBeCa,
The first phase of the expansion and renovation program began on August 1, 2006 with the ground breaking for the School’s new academic building which is expected to be ready by the fall of 2008. The second phase of the construction project will consist of the complete interior renovation of the School’s remaining buildings on Worth Street that is projected to take at least 12 months to finish with an anticipated opening in spring 2010. These renovations will create new innovative facilities for faculty and students that support the School’s six centers for advanced scholarship and research.
“Once completed,” added Dean Matasar, “the new
building will include a large auditorium and a multipurpose space which
will allow us to host a wide variety of events, providing community access
to lecture series, art exhibits and outreach programs. The facilities will
offer new opportunities to interact on-site with alumni, members of the
legal community and the public and underscore the School’s
fundamental mission of active participation and exchange. The public
spaces in particular will become rich opportunities to tell the story of
the School’s history and fundamental relationship to New York
School’s Endowment Now Among Top Ten of All Law Schools
In late June, New York Law School sold its Mendik Law Library building at 240 Church Street that enabled the school to move forward with its bond sale and the new building and renovation program. The proceeds from the building sale have been allocated to the school’s endowment which is now among the top 10 of all American law schools. According to Dean Matasar, the school intends to launch a major fund raising campaign in the fall of 2006 that, combined with the new endowment funds, should provide the school “with a resource base that in the years to come will give us the capacity to build and improve student support, expand the faculty, add greater depth to our extraordinary program, and permit us to respond to the needs of our profession.”
Financing for the new academic building came from the sale of $135 million in insured bonds issued through the New York City Industrial Development Agency, which was successfully completed on June 30, 2006. The school’s securities were given an A3 credit rating by Moody’s and an A-minus rating by S&P, both reflective of the school’s stable market position and solid financial condition.
New York Law School’s real estate advisor for the expansion and renovation program is Studley, one of the country’s leading commercial real estate services firms specializing in representing tenants. The construction manager for the Law School project is Pavarini McGovern, a full service construction management company based in New York City.
ABOUT NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL
Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city’s centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School’s renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the school’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, urban legal studies, international and comparative law, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The school is noted for its six academic centers: the Justice Action Center, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center on Business Law & Policy, Institute for Information Law and Policy, and the Center for International Law. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and enrolls some 1500 students in its full- and part-time J.D. programs and its Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation program. www.nyls.edu