WILLIAMSBURG -- Procedures were put into motion early yesterday by officials of the College of William and Mary and its Marshall-Wythe School of Law to get construction of a law school building under way as soon as possible.

The building was part of the $125 million five-part bond issue that was overwhelmingly approved by Virginia voters Tuesday.

Dr. Thomas A. Graves Jr., college president, said the state's Division of Engineering and Buildings, headed by Douglas Hamner, would begin a final review of the project later this week.

He said procedural matters would take several months, but the project should be ready for bidding by mid-February and construction of the long awaited $5.1 million law school building, adjacent to the almost completed National Center for State Courts, could begin by early March.

Graves said he believed the project was the most advanced of the state's proposed bond construction projects.

William and Mary officials said the state allocated about $450,000 to the school in 1976 for site preparations and that work has been completed for several months. Construction can begin as soon as other preparatory work is completed.

Law school Dean William B. Spong Jr. said he called American Bar Association consultant James White in Indianapolis "at 8 a.m. this morning and told him that the bond referendum had passed . . . That takes us off the book."

Spong Led Effort

White, who had been the agent for the ABA during the entire episode involving the possible loss of ABA accreditation of the law school "sounded almost as pleased as I am," Spong said.

Spong, who led a statewide effort in support of the bond proposal, praised law school students who manned every polling place in Williamsburg and James City County on Election Day.

"I believe that Williamsburg carried our bond issue as well as any place in the state," Spong said.

Spong said he hopes the building can be completed by December 1979, the bicentennial of the first chair of law in America, established at William and Mary in December 1779 during a college curriculum reorganization proposed by Thomas Jefferson, who was governor of Virginia and rector of the board of visitors.

Document Type

News Article

Publication Information

Richmond Times-Dispatch at C-19 (November 10, 1977)