- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The transformation of the former Ada County Courthouse in downtown Boise into the University of Idaho’s Law and Justice Learning Center is expected to be complete this fall.

The renovation of the 1930s building constructed under the Depression-era New Deal will turn it into the academic base for about 100 law students. The project is part of the school’s plan to offer a full law school program in Boise.

“At this point, we’ll get second- and third-year (students) into the building,” Lee Dillion, associate dean for the University of Idaho in Boise, told the Idaho Statesman (https://bit.ly/16FPcOv ) in a story on Monday. “Then, it’s just a matter of what student needs are here in Idaho and the Northwest. If there’s a demand, we’ll assess it at that time. It’s got to be smart for us financially, it’s got to be smart for the state … and at a cost that students can afford.”

The building was vacated in 2002 after Ada County opened its new courthouse on Front Street. The state still owns the building that survived demolition proposals to create room for office space.

The renovation is expected to cost more than $6 million and is being paid for mostly with state funds. The school is paying about $1.3 million raised from private sources, Dillion said.

When finished, the building will have classrooms, work spaces, offices for Idaho Supreme Court workers, a state law library, and space for programs such as citizen outreach and education.

Dillion said an advantage to the location is that it’s near the Statehouse where lawmakers meet for about three months at the start of each year. The area also includes state agencies and lobbying firms, possibly giving students a chance to make connections.

“Down on Capitol Mall, they’ll have an opportunity to network,” Dillion said.


Information from: Idaho Statesman, https://www.idahostatesman.com

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