According to Jack Boger, the dean of the School of Law at UNC, $15 million had been appropriated to fund planning and infrastructure of the new law school, but Gov. Bev Perdue had withdrawn that money as soon as the recession hit full force and the state started budget cuts. According to the dean, a new building is needed badly as the current building is unsuitable for the law school’s present needs.
Bruce Runberg, the associate vice chancellor of facilities planning told the media, “It could happen if there was a miracle donor.” Otherwise, construction of the new law school building at Carolina North is now stopped until the economy can manage to free itself from the Great Recovery.
The residential housing building and the research building also lack funding for construction.
According to UNC class sizes were typically large when the current law school was built. The average class was about 80 to 120 students. However, class sizes have decreased dramatically, and classes have become more specialized involving greater student-professor interaction. This is particularly true for second and third year law classes.
The dean said, “We have a building that was built with one … configuration in mind, and we’ve got a very different form of instructional delivery now.”
There are also concerns raised by local residents as to how the new structures would affect the local ecology and environment that include conservation areas. However, Anna Wu, director for facilities planning at the UNC said, “The conservation areas were realigned to increase the ecological value of the acreage that we agreed to set aside.”
Currently the Pumpkin Loop running trail is closed for safety reasons and ongoing work on a utilities ductbank.
Bruce Runberg said the university would study the problem.