Building Update: Progress Behind Artistic Fence

Since breaking ground in September, a lot has happened at the Georgia State University College of Law’s new building site. The concrete for all seven floors of the building has been poured and an artistic banner by two students decorates the construction fence.

While the concrete for the higher floors cures, McCarthy Construction Co. crews are framing offices, classrooms and other spaces on the lower floors. By July, all structures will be in place to support the roof, and crews will begin to enclose the building with the pre-cast, limestone, steel, zinc and glass exterior.

Chip Hill, assistant dean of administration and finance, says construction should be finished by March. Once construction is complete, the furniture will be delivered and the audio-visual systems and information technology will be installed. This will allow the college to move in early May and hold summer 2015 classes in the new building.

Until then, thanks to the creative work of two Georgia State Law students, passersby will have more to look at than the building’s progress at the construction site. Anamaria Hazard (J.D. ’15) and Jon Ciliberto (J.D. ’15) designed illustrations that will be displayed on the construction fence at the building site.

Hazard’s piece is a drawing of the scales of justice and a gavel, both in purple to represent the academic color of law.

“I kept my drawing minimal because, to me, the study and practice of law at its core is simple—equality and justice for all,” Hazard says. “The scale represents the equality in the law. No matter what inequalities we face outside of the courtroom, inside we are all to be treated the same. The gavel represents justice. The law is where all Americans can turn to for justice.”

The daughter of an artist, Hazard was honored to have her work chosen for the fence. She says that her artwork represents the reasons she is becoming a lawyer.

“I will fight for equality and justice for all using the skills I have learned from Georgia State Law,” she says. “The new law building will forward the mission of Georgia Sate Law in creating lawyers who will continue to fight for equality and justice. My drawing represents an idealistic representation of what the law means, what it should do and why we all came to law school.”

Hazard’s drawing will be alternated with Ciliberto’s along the fence, which is a montage of current students’ selfies.

“The concept behind my piece is simple: the law school is its students,” Ciliberto. “We are collectively the school, but also, we are individuals, each unique. The finished piece from a distance will appear as an abstracted shape composed of small blocks, but upon close inspection it will resolve to individual selfie images.”

Ciliberto admits that he had no previous experience with selfies, but was aware of their popularity. It was an ideal way for his project to reflect the student body and represent the school publicly. He asked his classmates to submit photos and is pleased with the response.

“I really appreciate the people who contributed, and I’m happy with what the collection process yielded,” he says. “I adapted the concept as it has proceeded to include a drawing component, indicating the spontaneous, interactive, person-to-person quality of cellphone image sending.”

Hazard says her design, along with Ciliberto’s, represent the law school well.

“Jon’s represents the people of the law school—those who will carry out the mission of justice for all, those who will fight for the ideal that is represented in my drawing,” Hazard says.

Next Phase

As the construction progresses, Hill and his team will focus on planning the logistics of moving into the building and utilizing the new space.

“During the next 11 months, we, as a college, will sort through everything on our five floors of the Urban Life Building to identify the items we will take with us, the items we will leave behind for the new occupants and the items that will be discarded,” Hill says. “With our college’s new strategic plan, we will evaluate our organizational structure and staffing levels to identify areas in which we might need to expand our capabilities or repurpose our resources.”

Timeline Perspective

To prepare the site for construction work, McCarthy excavated approximately 20,000 cubic yards of rock and soil, which equates to 28,600 tons. For perspective, it would take 715 semi-trucks to haul away that full amount at once.

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