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Foundation work begins for Redstone law building

The new five-story Sumner M. Redstone Building is scheduled to begin construction in May 2013 and be completed by fall 2014. The building, located next to the current LAW tower, is expected to open by the fall 2015 semester. PHOTO BY KIERA BLESSING/DAILY FREE PRESS

The new five-story Sumner M. Redstone Building is scheduled to begin construction in May 2013 and be completed by fall 2014. The building, located next to the current LAW tower, is expected to open by the fall 2015 semester. PHOTO BY KIERA BLESSING/DAILY FREE PRESS

Renovations to the Boston University School of Law begun over winter break will help modernize the school and its educational quality, BU officials said.

“This opportunity to renovate the entire 18-story tower and add an additional wing, which will be where a lot of the classroom and library space will be, is important to meet the needs of contemporary methods of legal education,” said BU spokesman Colin Riley.

Riley said work began during intercession on Jan. 1.

“There is a much greater demand for technology to be part of the learning experience,” said Ann Comer-Woods, LAW director of communications and marketing, in an email. “We will be building right-sized classrooms that are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to best serve the modern-day needs of our school’s students and faculty.”

Workers installed pressure-injected footing and laid foundation for the new Sumner M. Redstone Building between the existing LAW Tower and Mugar Memorial Library during winter break, she said.

“Recognizing that the installation of the foundation footing would be noisy work, this aspect of the project was purposefully scheduled during intersession when students and most faculty were away from campus,” Comer-Woods said. “Every effort is being made to keep noise disruptions to a minimum during class hours.”

In September, Redstone, a media executive, announced he was donating $18 million to BU for a new law building.

“We are pleased that Sumner Redstone, [an Honorary graduate in 1994] and a former BU Law faculty member, made a very generous gift of $18 million to support the construction of the law school’s new building,” Comer-Woods said.

The Cambridge-based architectural firm Bruner/Cott completed the design of the Redstone Building while Skanska Construction and BU Facilities Planning & Management oversee the construction of the building, Comer-Woods said. Bruner/Cott also oversaw construction of the Center for Student Services, located at 100 Bay State Road.

Foundation work for the tower and new addition will end in the spring of 2013 then concrete work for the LAW Tower façade will begin, according to the BU Facilities Management and Planning 2012 intercession report.

“When the 93,000-square-foot Redstone Building opens in fall 2014, it will house most of the law school’s classrooms, expand the Pappas Law Library, increase study space and provide new facilities to support clinical, transactional and professional training programs,” Comer-Woods said.

Along with the expansion of the Pappas Law Library, the addition will have student locker facilities, lounges and a dining facility, the Facilities Planning & Management report stated.

“We’ve begun the foundation footings so we’ll be ready to erect the steel for the new addition this summer,” Riley later said in an email.

An official groundbreaking ceremony for the new building will take place April 19, Comer-Woods said.

Comer-Woods said the existing Law Tower will undergo a complete renovation in 2014 and 2015. These newly refurbished facilities will be supported by funds from alumni of the Law School.

“The building is nearly fifty years old, the systems were nearing the end of their life, as were the heating ventilation and electrical systems,” Riley said. “Of course they’ve been upgraded and renovated multiple times over the past decades, but this opportunity to renovate is important.”

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