Arizona State University’s plans to build a $120 million building in downtown Phoenix are a step closer to reality. A Phoenix city committee recommended to the city manager to negotiate contracts with ASU. ASU is asking the city to provide land for free for the first 10 years and to contribute $12 million to the project.
The city council must still approve the deal and the ASU Board of Regents will vote on it in December.
The law school hopes to start construction on the 250,000 to 300,000-square-foot facility in 2014 and open the new facility in 2016.
ASU will launch a fundraising campaign and expects to increase enrollment by 20 to 40 percent. However, the J.D program would not increase in size, and school officials are hopeful it will not impact their tuition. Instead, the school plans to increase graduate and online enrollment. The new center would also offer continuing education programs for attorneys.
"The vision for the law school is to be a much more engaged law school in the community," Douglas Sylvester, dean of the law school told the Arizona Republic. "We're already quite confident that we'll move up in the rankings again. We think we'll be solidly in the top 25 and certainly in to the top seven or eight of all publics. But moving downtown isn't about rankings. It's about the mission of this law school."
The center would include the law school and other public and private research centers benefiting the legal community, the Arizona Republic reported.
The law school is currently located on the main university campus in Tempe, about ten miles east of Phoenix. It will join other ASU schools in Phoenix, including the Walter Cronkite School of Mass Communication, College of Health Solutions, School of Letters and Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Public Programs and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at the Downtown Phoenix campus.