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Law school on schedule, under budget

William H. Gates Hall, future home of the UW School of Law, remains under its projected $75 million budget with less than a year remaining until its projected opening date. Construction is going smoothly and on schedule, according to Jennifer Amend, the school's director of publication.

Ethan Frey, an assistant with the construction management of UW Capitol Projects, said the contractors are almost ready to start on the building's interior.

"It's a pretty tight job, schedule-wise. The contractor has been really good about doubling up various tasks," said Frey.

The building's exterior, made up of an estimated 135,000 bricks, is being sealed and nearing completion. In addition to the masonry, 47,000 square feet of glass will be installed, providing plenty of natural lighting for the four above-ground floors. Still remaining to be completed are four elevator shafts, interior work, landscaping and finish work. The large power crane looming above the construction site will remain on site until March of next year.

The 196,000-square-foot facility, located south of the Burke Museum will replace Condon Hall as the home of the law school. With 55 percent more space, the new building will accommodate the school's growth for years to come. Students not studying law may get an opportunity to meet in one of the building's state-of-the-art auditoriums and classrooms.

The new building will include the Law School's first consolidated law library on two floors and a large reading room. Showers will be available for bicycle commuters.

A large outdoor terrace area will incorporate plant life in its design and also be equipped with wireless Internet access, a feature that will be accessible throughout the interior. William H. Gates Hall is scheduled to open Sept. 1 of next year. After the law school completes its move into the new building, Condon Hall will provide "surge" space for other UW schools and departments whose buildings undergo renovations. The next major building project will be the renovation of Johnson Hall.

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