By Alicia Adamczyk, Daily News Editor
Published August 22, 2013
After an investment of nearly $39 million and 16 months of construction, the Law School's Lawyers Club and Charles T. Munger residences reopened Monday in preparation for the official move-in day, August 26th.
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The renovations were made possible by a $20 million donation from University alum Charles Munger, the business magnate who also made the largest single donation in University history in April for a new graduate student housing complex. Construction began in May 2012, including the installation of three elevators, 11 corridor lounges and air conditioning. The remaining $19 million in costs was covered by central university investment proceeds and the Lawyers Club.
The exterior of the building, which features Gothic-style architecture and the original windows from 1924, was kept completely in-tact during the interior renovations.
The inside of the housing complex — which includes the Charles T. Munger Residences and the John P. Cook Building — was completely stripped so the building would comply with the latest building codes, said John Masson, spokesman for the Law School.
Eleven lounges, or Club Rooms, were added to the complex to give law students more socializing opportunities. Additionally, the plumbing, heating and high-speed internet access were upgraded. Rooms now feature private or jack-and-jill-style bathrooms and come fully furnished.
Lawyers Club Director Diane Nafranowicz said the builders eliminated the previous townhouse-style of architecture, instead opting for a more open floor plan.
“Now all the corridors are opened up,” Nafranowicz said. “It allows the community to be even more supported ... that is highly significant.”
The Club can now accommodates 227 students, 27 fewer than the previous capacity. The decrease is due to the transformation of the Tower rooms to lounges, as well as the addition of the Club Rooms and private bathrooms.
Nafranowicz said the cost for room leases this year “did not increase significantly,” estimating the cost increase around 10 percent. A single room starts at $11,660 for the entire academic year, varying in price depending on square footage and bathroom options. There are 11 wheelchair accessible rooms.
All 227 rooms are filled for this academic year and there is a waiting list for students who wish to live in the Club, Nafranowicz said.
“I never try to sell the Lawyers Club, I don’t have to,” she said. “It sells itself.”