October 21, 2008 (NEW YORK) -- Columbia Law School celebrated the completion of the ninth floor expansion at Jerome L. Greene Hall with a dedication of the Sidley Austin Room, a new conference room with striking southern and eastern views of New York City. The $18 million construction project at the Law School’s main building also created meeting areas and space for up to 38 new faculty offices.
“We’re very proud of the new ninth floor, and the jewel of the floor is this room,” said Dean David M. Schizer at the Sidley Austin Room dedication ceremony, held September 17.
“The Law School has become a warmer place, with greater intensity of interaction, and the building has a lot to do with that,” Schizer added.
The new offices provide additional space for 38 faculty members, helping to support Dean David Schizer’s strategic initiative to increase the Columbia Law School faculty without increasing the student enrollment. This will broaden course offerings, reduce class size and further improve opportunities for mentorship between faculty and students.
A $1 million gift from many Columbia Law School alumni partners of Sidley Austin LLP supported the new 1,120-square-foot conference room. Alumna Cathy M. Kaplan ’77, a partner in the firm’s New York office, spearheaded the fundraising effort.
The Sidley Austin Room will support a range of activities for alumni, students, faculty and special guests of the Law School, such as seminars, lectures, panel discussions, study groups, student organization meetings and social functions.
Plans were designed by the award-winning architectural firm of Paul Segal Associates, which also designed the 1999-2000 renovations of the faculty offices and lounge, seminar rooms and the Dean’s suite.
Architect Paul Segal said at the dedication ceremony, “I. M. Pei always said, ‘Go after the client, not the project,’ and Columbia has been a wonderful friend of ours for over a decade.”
The expansion project, begun in May 2007, is the first major structural addition to Jerome Greene Hall since the 1995-96 addition to the 116th Street entrance of the three-story skylit lobby, which contains Drapkin Lounge, a quiet area for students to study or convene, and Lenfest Café, a modern dining space complete with an outdoor terrace. Jerome Greene Hall had previously undergone only minor renovations since it opened in 1960.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.