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LDS Church gives $4 million for new University of Utah law school building

Published: Friday, May 11 2012 2:13 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A new building for the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law received a $4 million gift from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the university announced Friday.

"The church's involvement with the university goes back to its founding. The new, state-of-the-art law school building and those who will graduate from there will benefit the university and the community," the church's Presiding Bishop Gary Stevenson said in a prepared statement.

Construction for the 155,000-square-foot building is expected to begin in the summer of 2013. Architectural plans have not yet been finalized, but in a university news release, law school Dean Hiram Chodosh said the facility is expected to include a 450-seat conference center and will utilize energy-efficient techniques to reduce costs. 

The college has a goal to raise $60.5 million for the new building. Chodosh described the LDS Church's pledge as "exceptionally generous and meaningful."

"The donation from the LDS Church will support the college's efforts to construct a building that will produce incalculable reputational benefits and substantial economic value for the state and the community," Chodosh said.

The College of Law has been housed in its current building since 1963. Chodosh said in recent years the college has suffered by a lack of useful classroom space and functional inadequacies. He anticipates the new building will be "the most innovative law school facility in the country."

Benjamin Wood

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