Renovations Spread UND Law School Around Campus

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News Article

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Campus Unit

School of Law


As finals week came to a close and students loaded trailers and pickups with their belongings to leave UND for the summer, Law School professors began doing the same thing.

But they're not going far.

Dean Kathryn Rand said last fall she hoped the Law School's $11 million construction project wouldn't spread faculty around campus, and the majority of the Law School's 50-some employees are scattering to Strinden and Twamley Halls with some outlying offices going to Carnegie and Dakota halls.

Brad Parrish, the Law School's Assistant Dean for Student Life began coordinating the move last summer and said everything worked out as well as can be expected in regard to keeping everybody in close proximity until the fall of 2015 when the construction and renovation will be completed.

"We're sort of in this stage of flux right now," he said.

The project is also affecting the law library, most of which is being boxed up and stored while a temporary one is set up in Strinden Hall with texts the school has deemed absolutely necessary.

"That's going to be the primary site for students and the public to go to," Law School spokesman Rob Carolin said.

Overall, Carolin said the goal is to maintain the close-knit feeling of the Law School with some sort of monthly meeting so that people still feels like they have a home.

"We've got to come up with ways to maintain that culture and maintain those relationships," he said.

Downsized library

Strinden Hall, which used to house the Alumni Association, will hold the central part of the law library while other smaller sections are relocated to O'Kelly and Dakota halls.

While the temporary space looks small in comparison to the actual library, Parrish and Carolin said they hadn't heard any complaints, which they credit to several open forums the school held with students and faculty to make sure their library needs would be met during the transition.

"Most students, the materials they use on a regular basis, they have access to online," Parrish said.

And while the majority of the library's collection will be boxed up and put in storage, Parrish said that isn't a problem since most of the things people want to access can be obtained through interlibrary loan.

"Just because we have it in storage doesn't mean we can't get it from (the University of Minnesota) or wherever," Carolin said.

Dispersed classes

And classes are going to be held in new places as well, such as Witmer, Leonard, Swanson, Gamble and Upson halls.

Parrish said the school sent out letters and emails to incoming students because they didn't want them coming in with expectations that weren't going to be met.

"We've tried to be as upfront with our incoming students as we can," he said.

Law students won't be used to having classes around campus, but Carolin said first-year students will find it extremely similar to their undergraduate class schedule.

"The first-years will see the least effect of it because they won't know what the experience was like before," he said.

That includes spending the year without lockers and not having access to a real courtroom, though Carolin said there are plans to work with county officials in the hopes of occasionally using the Grand Forks County Courthouse.

Most summer classes are taking place in Swanson Hall, but the longest walk from one class to another during the regular school year will take less than 10 minutes, according to Parrish, who made the trek himself.