Home Alumni Law school kicks off three-phase renovation project

Law school kicks off three-phase renovation project

The Drake Relays are right around the corner and many alumni will return to campus to check out their old stomping grounds—but for law students, the school might look a little different than they remember.

This spring, the Drake University Law School kicked off phase one of a three-phase renovation project for Cartwright Hall. Phase one will include a complete renovation of the second floor of Cartwright, which is where several classrooms and the student lounges are located. The new design for the second floor includes a student commons area, which will give students the opportunity to interact with faculty and other students in a less formal setting. The classrooms will also be renovated with an innovative design that allows for more discussion and group work.

“Our goal was to do things that would immediately affect students,” says Allan Vestal, dean of the Law School. “The planning of this reflects who we are. We value informal teaching moments and want students to have easy access to the faculty. This is something that sets us apart from other law schools.”

The planning for this renovation started nearly six years ago thanks to the Kern and Sutton families. Wayne L. Kern, LW ’72, and his wife Donna Kern, have been generous supporters of the Drake Law School for many years, funding an endowed scholarship and various building upgrades. Kermit S. Sutton, LW’74, a member of the Board of Trustees, has also been active in the Drake Law School as a donor and through his role on the Law School’s Board of Counselors since 2006. Both Kern and Sutton’s gifts have been instrumental in making this renovation possible.

“The leaders in this renovation have done a great job finding creative ways to minimize disruption to the students,” Vestal says. The majority of phase one of the renovation will take place over summer break. By the time the students return in August, the second floor renovations should be complete.

Fundraising for the other two phases of the renovations is ongoing. For more information about the renovations, contact John Edwards at 515-271-2141 or email john.edwards@drake.edu.