Progression of the new law building


Maggie Cabrera

The new law building is making progress on construction. Washburn University’s new law school building is expected to be finished in December of 2022.

When driving past SW 21st street and Washburn Ave., drivers will see the massive law building slowly coming together. After breaking ground in June, the new law building is starting to look more and more cohesive.

Eric Just is the director of facilities at Washburn University and the person who oversees all the major construction projects on campus. As the point of contact for this project, Just is working hard to make sure everything is going smoothly.

“We bid this project out in March and we’re eight months into it. Things are progressing well. If you have driven by it or looked at it, the structure itself, the steel and the concrete block are all up,” Just said. ”The west wing is quite a bit further along than the north wing, we started on that west wing and have been moving along to the north.”

Just has been working on the law building project since the start and is pleased with its progression.

“The building itself is coming along nicely, right now we plan on being done in about a year from now,” Just said.

The construction of the new building is coming together on time even with the recent supply chain issues in the country.

“There are some material issues that you’ve probably heard about in the news. We have run into a few of those, but right now there is nothing that is telling us we are going to miss our date,” Just said.

Though the supply chain has been backed up for some time, the weather has not been as formidable to the construction.

“We did not expect 60s and 70s degree weather in December, but we’ll take it because we did have some concrete we had to pour over the last few weeks and it really helped us out,” Just said. “We don’t anticipate the weather causing us any problems in the construction process.”

The crucial part of the construction of the law building is the contractors, and with MCP Group the progression will continue even if the weather turns around.

“These contractors are very experienced. MCP Builds knows what to do and they plan for this stuff, so they’re ready for the winter and they’ll have it to where they can continue to work on the inside while there may be bad weather on the outside,” Just said.

The new law building is starting to transform the south side of campus and is drawing attention to its beauty.

“The transformation of that corner of campus is what I’m excited about. I’ll drive to see the difference it has made. It was fairly empty and to put this down in this corner will be a real statement for Washburn,” Just said.

Just’s experience and drive to see this building come to reality helps others understand how important it is to update and better our campus. His experience is hefty and he brings new ideas to the campus through it.

“I went to Kansas State University for construction science and management and have been working on projects either as a contractor or the owner of a representative for 15-16 years now,” Just said. ”On Washburn’s campus, I have been here for about two and a half years, we had just started construction on the indoor athletic facility. I wasn’t involved in the design, but I was able to see the construction.”

Not only are those behind the scenes excited for the new building, but so are the current students.

“I am really excited about the plans. While deciding to come to Washburn, it was a huge draw for me,” said Clarissa Ratzlaff, a 1L student.

Coming from Oklahoma State University, Ratzlaff was not sure about coming back to Kansas, but Washburn drew her into the law school.

“Of course a new building is always exciting, I think it’s going to be an innovative space for law students to learn in,”Ratzlaff said.

Ratzlaff is excited for the open spaces that the new building will hold and overall thinks that it will be pretty and a new place to experience.

Considering the transition from the current law school to the new one, Ratzlaff thinks it will be “fairly easy” but finding classrooms and places to study may be difficult at first.

“I’ve been blown away by how big it is, I guess I didn’t know how big it would be just because our current building isn’t massive per se,” Ratzlaff said. “I’ve been on other campuses that have law buildings and I think that it is something that will be a big benefit for Washburn when drawing people in.”

As the new law building continues to be built, students and faculty are excited to see the final product.

The new Washburn University law school building is well on its way to completion, and is planned to be finished in December of 2022.

Edited by: Kyle Manthe and Ellie Walker