Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Dedication of the University of Tennessee’s new $23 million, 110,000-square-foot College of Law building is scheduled here Sept. 12-13.

 Dignitaries expected to attend include Gov. Don Sundquist, U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice E. Riley Anderson and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr.

 The guests will join UT officials at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12, at a dedication dinner at the Hyatt Regency. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin in front of the law building at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 13.

 Baker and Frist will speak at the dinner with Sundquist and Anderson among those expected to make remarks at the ribbon-cutting.

 UT President Joe Johnson said the new building is a milestone in the growth and development of the College of Law.

 “This is a very special event for the university and for the state’s legal community,” Johnson said. “Many people deserve credit for seeing that this project has become a reality.

 “The university is grateful to former Gov. Ned McWherter, Gov. Don Sundquist, the Tennessee General Assembly, alumni of the College of Law, the UT Board of Trustees, and UT Law Dean Dick Wirtz and his faculty and staff.”

 The project was funded with state appropriations of nearly $23 million by the legislature as recommended by McWherter and Sundquist, Johnson said.

 Dr. Bill Snyder, chancellor of UT-Knoxville, said the new building is “student friendly” and well-designed for 21st century teaching and learning.

 “Dean Wirtz, his faculty, the architects and the contractor deserve credit for creating a functional building complete with state-of-the-art equipment,” Snyder said. “Law students should find the building enhances the already outstanding education they receive.”

 Wirtz said members of the College of Law faculty and administration began planning for the building in 1985.

 “Our goal was a building that would help put our program on the cutting edge of legal education,” Wirtz said. “Thanks to the support of the state, the university and the alumni of the school, we have a facility that will serve Tennessee well.”

 Two Knoxville firms — McCarty Holsaple McCarty and Lindsay and Maples were architects on the project. Webb Brothers of Athens, Tenn., was the general contractor.

 The 1997 fall semester marks the first full-scale use of the building after three years of construction. Ground was broken Sept. 17, 1994, for the project which included a redesign and renovation of the existing law school building and construction of an 80,000-square-foot addition.

 The new section provides 57,000 square feet of space for a law library and 17,000 square feet of classroom space. It has 11 classrooms, including six large lecture rooms and four rooms that double as courtrooms.

The “Tennessee Law Review” also has a suite of rooms in the new area.

The original building, opened in 1950, was redesigned and renovated to provide office space for faculty, administration, student organizations and the UT Legal Clinic.

Both old and new spaces contain state-of-the-art instructional technology, including power and computer hookups at each classroom seat and at almost all the seats in the library.

 Students have access to two computer laboratories, one for walk-in use and the other for training. Two classrooms are wired for videotaping and playback, while all the classrooms are linked to an audiovisual control room and are within reach of satellite downlinks.

 Members of the bench and bar also will benefit from the facility. When the system is operational, the resources of the law library will be accessible by computer to legal practitioners anywhere in the world.

 Contact: R.G. Smithson (423-974-0687)