WILLIAMSBURG -- Final architectural plans for the new National Center for State Courts and the proposed law school building at the College of William and Mary were made public Thursday.

The adjoining structures are scheduled to be constructed on college property near the main campus and the Colonial Williamsburg historic area.

The court center will cost approximately $2.75 million and the law school structure, which still must receive final approval in 1976 from the Virginia General Assembly, will cost about $4.8 million

Funds for Center

Officials of the national court center could not be reached Thursday night, but funds necessary for construction of the project have been virtually assured and construction is expected to begin in midsummer. It is anticipated that the faculty will be occupied at some time in 1976.

The court building has been designed by Richmond architectural firm of Wright, Jones, and Wilkerson, Inc., which is also designed the law school.

The two-story court center will have 32,000 square feet of floor area to accommodate a staff of 60. The building will have dual entrances through two-story arches providing access to the lobby from the main circular drive and adjacent law school mall.

Facilities will include a flexible modular office complex, which will surround a functional law and technical library and be connected to the diredtor's suite, board room, and conference facilities. The building is designed to permit modest expansion.

Traditional Style

The building will be a traditional style that combines contemporary design with traditional motifs and material and will be constructed of natural materials such as molded brick, stone and slate, integrating the building with its surroundings.

The National Center for State Courts was first suggested in Williamsburg in 1971 and is dedicated to judicial reform at the state court level.

A major selling point for Williamsburg in the effort to get the court center to locate here was the fact that the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at William and Mary could be located on adjacent property.

The college received planning money from the 1974 General Assembly for the law school building and plans call for a two-story building with 80,000 square feet, consisting of units of various functions located to take maximum advantage of the terrain.

Ground Floor

The ground floor will contain a library unit, an administrative unit, and an academic wing, all connected by a central lobby-lounge. The academic wing will be located along one of the several ridges extending back into a wooded area and will allow for tiered lecture rooms to be built on the natural grade. The wing will have four lecture rooms, two seating 150 and two seating 90 persons.

The second floor will contain another library unit and a similar academic wing. These units will be connected by a faculty office suite above the lobby-lounge. In addition to offices, the faculty suite will contain a workroom, lounge and outdoor garden court, and will be provided with direct access to the academic, library, and administrative areas.

According to Dean James P. Whyte of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, the proposed facilities will serve a student body expected to reach 600 students.

The new law library will house more than 140,000 volumes and provide 420 study stations. The school's library volumes are housed in cramped quarters at the law school and in the basements of Bryan, Madison and Camm dormitories.

Document Type

News Article

Publication Information

Richmond Times-Dispatch at B-4 (Jan. 31, 1975)