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Cooley Law School Selling Former Masonic Temple
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Summary: Cooley Law School is asking for more than $8 million in its sale of the former Masonic Temple building in downtown Lansing. 

The former Masonic Temple on South Capitol Avenue in downtown Lansing is for sale, according to The Lansing State Journal.

  
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The building is being sold by Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Don LeDuc, the president and dean of the law school, said the building has an asking price of $8.15 million.

Cooley has been the owner of the building since 1974, but LeDuc said that new classrooms close to the Cooley Center a couple of years ago have left little use of the building for the school.

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To read more about Cooley Law School, click here.

“If we were at the level we were at a few years ago, we might need the backup,” LeDuc said. “I don’t see we would ever get back to the level.”



At the Lansing campus alone, Cooley boasted 2,900 students in 2006. At its five campuses last year, there were less than 1,800 students. The law school used to be the largest in the country.

The building was finished in 1924 and it was renovated extensively when the law school purchased it.

The ceremonial Temple rooms were renovated to become classrooms and named after the Inns of the Court in London. The auditorium on the sixth floor was used to host high school proms in the early years of ownership by Cooley.

“It’s been around a long time,” Mike Gibson, the law school’s facilities director said. “It’s got good bones and it has a lot of years left on it.”

The library of the law school was opened on Washington Avenue early in the 1990s and then the Cooley Center opened on Capitol Avenue in 2000. These two new locations left little use for the building.

To read more stories about Michigan, click here.

LeDuc said the final classes were held in the building back in 2008.

“When you think back, probably close to half of our graduates had no connection to that building other than an occasional class,” LeDuc said. “The early half of our students, that’s the school to them.”

“One of the things we have tried to do in Lansing is recycle and bring back to life old buildings,” LeDuc said.

LeDuc concluded by saying, “hopefully somebody else will figure out a way to bring this one back to life again — hopefully for 20 years, or at least 10 years, to get it to the 100-year mark.”

Will Cooley receive close to its asking price? Use our poll to share your thoughts.

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Image credit: Cooley Law School



 

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