Law school construction completes stage one

Kate Carrubba

Construction of the new law school building has begun and is on track for completion in summer 2009.

John Cacciola, director of Engineering and Construction, reported that the first stage of the building’s construction, the foundation, is complete. This stage was preceded by the construction of the parking garage, which was completed in August 2007. Cacciola described the garage as a “key component” of the project, which necessitated its quick completion.

Work is set to begin next week on the structure of the building itself. This second stage will involve constructing the outlines of the building with steel in a process that should last until July.

The third stage will then begin in July and will involve the outer masonry and glazing, as well as the installation of windows. This process is expected to last until November, at which time the fourth and final stage will begin.

The final steps will involve the interior of the building and will last until July 2009. Construction is expected to be complete in time for the fall 2009 semester.

The new building will be a state-of-the-art facility, according to Cacciola. It will be 70,000 square feet larger than the current Garey Hall location, for a total of 174,000 square feet. The new, as yet unnamed building will feature a bigger library and more classrooms and meeting spaces, as well as a larger law clinic.

The building will also be more energy-efficient, keeping with the University’s “green” standards. The building’s design followed the specifications of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which provides standards for environmentally safe construction.

The building’s design will follow that of other University buildings. In an October 2007 University press release announcing the construction plans, the new building was described as having a “park-like setting” featuring a jogging trail along County Line Road and North Ithan Avenue.

The project is being paid for through University funding and private donations. Cacciola did not anticipate the current economic downturn to be a concern for both the rate and costs of the project, saying that rising costs were anticipated and provided for in the planning and design stages. Cacciola cited events such as Hurricane Katrina and the rising cost of oil as the key issues that had the highest impact on construction costs during the planning stages of the project.

While the future use of the 100,000 square foot Garey Hall has not yet been determined, there is a possibility that it could be used for undergraduate classroom facilities.

Villanova School of Law Dean Mark Sargent proposed the idea upon his arrival to Villanova. Facilities Management was in charge of the planning, and the project was officially announced in October 2007. In the announcement, Sargent said that he was “extremely pleased [that the project] will provide everything we need for our students and faculty.”

Also in the announcement, University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., described the project as a “beautiful addition to the entire neighborhood [which will serve] the 21st-century needs of our students and faculty.”