Facilities Enhancements Continue at College of Law

Friday, October 01, 2010

The University of Tulsa College of Law is continuing facility renovations and technological upgrades to John Rogers Hall in order to provide students and faculty with cutting-edge resources that support TU’s educational mission.

Most notably, the law school has completed a total technological upgrade of the Wm. Stuart Price and Michael C. Turpen Courtroom. Undertaken during the 2010 summer semester, these technological enhancements dramatically improved the quality of audio and video capability for classes, mock trials, speeches, symposiums, and videoconferencing.

court roomNew speakers and a built-in wireless microphone system have created the ability to clearly hear presenters and audience members, as well as eliminating feedback and audio cutouts. The availability of this high-quality audio from the audience is particularly important, as the courtroom is more frequently used for videoconferencing. The courtroom now has high-definition video capabilities, including broadcasting high-definition video signals to the “Pit” for overflow crowds. New high-definition equipment includes a recording system, projector, cameras, and videoconferencing unit. In addition, courtroom podiums have newly reprogrammed touchscreen controllers and Blu-ray video players.

The technology upgrades will better allow law students and faculty to engage in learning opportunities in other locations, both nationally and internationally, that otherwise might have been too cost-prohibitive for TU to participate in person. The new technology also enhances the ability of the TU College of Law to transmit its own programming to interact with worldwide audiences, bringing in the top legal minds to join the dialogue.

Chris Farwell, Director of Computing Resources at the TU College of Law, said the TU College of Law is now on the cutting edge of technology enhancements with the recent improvements.

“TU is one of the first law schools to have this technology,” Farwell said. “As far as quality, the courtroom rivals any law school in the nation.”

The technological upgrade to the Price & Turpen Courtroom signals the latest step in a comprehensive plan to renovate and upgrade John Rogers Hall. Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor last year, the law school undertook a major overhaul of the “Pit” student commons that saw the space become a more student-friendly and inviting area where students gather and study between classes. john rogers hall pit renovation

Additionally, a $1 million gift from the Chapman Charitable Trusts has provided a jump start for a series of interior renovations in summer 2011 that will improve access and functionality within the law school. John Rogers Hall will be transformed into a modern, student-centric building that will be both functionally advanced and aesthetically refined.

The project will consist of an interior redesign of the public lobby, classrooms and corridors, new restroom facilities, lockers and administrative areas. New ceilings and energy-efficient lighting will be installed. Classrooms will be remodeled with new carpeting, wall covering, lighting, ceilings, updated technology, and furniture. In the administrative area, staff will be provided a work space designed for functionality and serviceability. The mezzanine and student social areas will include new lighting, digital signage, artwork, and many other modern and aesthetically pleasing features.

The physical renovation is reflective of recent progress at the law school, which has seen increased admission selectivity, a low student-faculty ratio, impressively high bar passage rates, and the most diverse and academically accomplished student body in its history. The redesign will increase the law school’s competitive edge, enhance student learning, help faculty recruitment, and secure the future high standing of the college.

Scott Been