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UH Law Center Dean Baynes tells students and staff ‘stars aligned’ for new building

Oct. 31, 2019
— University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes gave students and staff an update on the progress toward “Destination 4670,” the school’s street address for the planned new facility, during his “Discussion with the Dean” fall semester session Monday.

“This has been a decades–long journey that has been going on almost as long as this building has existed,” he said. “All the stars are aligned, and we will have a new building.”

Baynes said $78 million has been allocated toward construction of the planned $90 million facility to be located at 4670 Calhoun Road with ongoing efforts to raise the remaining $12 million.

He said a committee of university officials and Law Center faculty has been meeting regularly with the architect and contractor to make sure the new facility works for everyone and educational needs are met.  He urged students and faculty/staff to attend an “Image Olympics” on Nov. 7 and 8 respectively during which everyone will be able to provide input on such design features as color schemes, textures, shapes, and other work place elements.

Baynes pointed out that the firm of Shepley Bulfinch is a national, women-owned architect and design company with experience in developing education facilities, especially law schools. He said the contractor, Austin Commercial, is known for bringing projects in on time and within budget.

The dean said few universities are currently building new law school facilities, which makes the commitment to the Law Center even more important.

“I can’t say how significant this is for us,” he told the lunch hour gathering, “It will be the newest law school building in the state and among the newest in the nation.”

He told students the current time-worn, outdated facility doesn’t meet their needs or serve their self-respect in attending. “We want to make sure students have what they need to be successful and also feel good about themselves,” he said.

Baynes’ building update came after a quick recap of the Law Center’s top rankings in various national polls, recognition of staff and faculty awards, promotions, retirements and new hires.

In turning to the building overview, he paraphrased Professor Seth Chandler who emailed earlier in the year about the funding success: “It’s easy to sell a new building when there are a lot of great things going on.”

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