AU proposes to move the Washington College of Law from its current location on Massachusetts Avenue to the Tenley Campus in 2013.
The University proposes to demolish all of Tenley Campus except Capital Hall to make a new home for the WCL.
Capital Hall would be renovated and the new buildings would be four- to five-stories tall. The move would give law students better access to public transportation than the current location in Spring Valley, according to the draft plan. There would no longer be housing on the Tenley Campus.
The proposed demolition is a problem point for the Tenleytown Historical Society because of the current buildings’ ages.
The current WCL building at 4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW would be used for other AU programs, which are still to be decided, said David Taylor, AU’s chief of staff.
This part of the Campus Plan would allow the law school to expand and develop its program, Taylor said. He expects the construction will begin during the summer of 2013 and end during the fall of 2015.
WCL has existed in its current location for 15 years and has grown to such a level that space has become a major issue, according to Claudio Grossman, the college’s dean.
“We are currently in three buildings, impairing our ability to promote interconnectedness among our different programs and limiting creativity in our community — a situation that will only worsen in the future,” he said in an e-mail. “It is accurate to say that in the current location we already lack office space for our faculty needs and library space is limited.”
The proposed eight-acre site in Tenleytown would provide the needed space. Presently WCL has been forced to lease space elsewhere in the neighborhood because of the small size of its building, Grossman said.
“There is no other city in the world more important to lawyers,” Grossman wrote. “A vibrant community like ours, in a more favorable and accessible site, will put to its maximum uses the opportunities that Washington creates.”
The shuttle service to the building would continue even if the law school were moved, Taylor said.
He also believes local businesses would not be affected by the change, since these programs would continue to bring students to the area.
Other consumers from these programs would replace the law school population, he said.