Law School Gears Up For The Big Move

  • News Photo 42
    A beautifully landscaped entry courtyard separates the two wings of the building and provides vehicular access to University Parks Drive.
  • News Photo 41
    Imported African cherry wood is used extensively throughout the interior of the three-story Umphrey Center. The W. James and Dorothy Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Courtroom features tiered seating and a 45-feet-high ceiling.
  • News Photo 40
    The view from the Brazos River shows the attractive architectural design of the Umphrey Law Center. Landscaping is under way.
  • News Photo 39
    Tiered or curved seating is a feature of the classrooms in the new Umphrey Law Center. All are equipped with the latest technology for quick computer access.
Aug. 2, 2001

by Alan Hunt

This is "moving week" for the law library at Baylor Law School, when approximately 95,000 books and 100,000 volume equivalents of microfiche will be moved into the new $31.3 million Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center on the banks of the Brazos River.

The books will be moved to the main library stacks on the third and second floors of the library wing beginning this Friday. Brandon Quarles, library director, says the new library, occupying a net area of 33,875 square feet, is nearly double the size of the old facility at the Law School's home since 1955, Morrison Constitution Hall. The library's reading room offers imposing views overlooking the Brazos River.

Moving is very much on the minds of members of the entire law school family as they prepare to sample the comforts of the three-story Umphrey Law Center before the start of classes there on Monday, Aug. 27.

The spacious building promises room to spare compared to the old law school facility. Offering a total of 128,000 square feet of space, it is "well beyond double" the size of Morrison Constitution Hall, says Brad Toben, law school dean. He says as well as being visually striking in its riverfront setting, the new center is technically advanced for effective teaching and research. "The building is simply the latest evidence of a program that is going places," he adds.

Rick Sowell, the law school's information technology coordinator, says the building, which has more than 30 miles of computer wiring, ranks as one of the most technically advanced law schools in the country.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new center took place on April 10, 1999. It will be formally dedicated on April 6, 2002, during the law school's annual Law Day activities. Toben says Central Texas residents will have an opportunity to tour the new building during open house programs planned for the fall.

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