Cooley Law School expansion to finish by May

Students and staff are already wandering the halls of the new wing of the Auburn Hills campus of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, but they’ll have the whole wing to themselves by the beginning of May.

That’s when construction is supposed to wrap up on the project in the shadow of the Chrysler headquarters. Right now, students can wander all over the wing’s basement. Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on the ground and second floor.

The 62,000-square-foot addition doubles the size of the 67-acre campus’ main 1980s-era GM/UAW building. The old half of the enlarged structure will house meeting space, offices and a large law library.

The new half will house classrooms, faculty offices and courtrooms for both practice trials and real ones. A couple of judges have already committed to moving their courts here.

The modern-looking building is also going for LEED certification. Its green credentials include reusing the existing structure; a 20,000-square-foot green roof; using recycled materials such as carpet; and energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

The structure also incorporates skylights and expansive windows throughout. A significant outdoor terrace opens up to surrounding woodland and wildlife (a herd of deer still roam the grounds).

Cooley opened its Oakland Campus at Oakland University six years ago with 28 students. Today it has 680 students at its new campus in Auburn Hills, at 2630 Featherstone Road. It is expected to hold up to 800 students within the next year or two and eventually grow to more than 1,000.

More than 3,600 students attend the law school, founded in 1972, at its three locations in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Oakland County.

Source: Nick Wasmiller, spokesman for Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills Campus
Writer: Jon Zemke