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CUNY Law headed to spacious LIC digs

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In 1986, CUNY Law School moved out of a Bayside elementary school and into a former junior high school in Flushing. A quarter century later, the school is moving again, preparing to hold classes for future attorneys in September 2012 at 2 Court Square in Long Island City.

“Moving has been a long-held dream for the community,” said Michelle Anderson, the CUNY Law dean, in an e-mail.

CUNY Law School, which has made its home at the former site of Campbell Junior High School, at 65-21 Main St. in Flushing for 25 years, will now be moving into six floors in Long Island City. Anderson said the new location will have more and bigger classroom space, increased study space, an expanded child-care center, an auditorium, an atrium, a moot appellate courtroom and three trial practice rooms.

The building is also LEED Gold certified, one of the highest ratings for an environmentally friendly building, with 90 percent of its structural steel having come from recycled materials. It has a 20,000-gallon stormwater retention system where water will be collected and recycled in the building’s mechanical system, Anderson said. Ninety percent of the waste from the construction of the building has also been recycled.

“Everyone who has toured the new space is thrilled,” Anderson said.

Having been chartered in 1973, CUNY Law School opened a decade later at the site of PS 130, at 200-01 42nd Ave. in Bayside. In three years, the law school moved to Flushing.

Edna Harris, a resident of Flushing who used to work near the school, had mixed feelings on the law school leaving.

“I hate to see it go because it’s an empty building, but it’s really a lot more convenient,” Harris said.

She said parking near CUNY Law School is poor and a bus that once traveled from Queens Boulevard to the school has been suspended. She said the Long Island City site has better access to the subway system.

Anderson said the school is already preparing to move. The Admissions and Registration departments will settle into Long Island City in April 2012, followed by the faculty after the school year ends in May.

“The school won’t be moving in the middle of semesters, so classes will not be affected,” Anderson said.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said CUNY Law School will be a good fit for the community as well as a boost for businesses in Long Island City.

“I think it’s terrific, obviously, to have such an important institution choose Long Island City as its home,” Van Bramer said. “It is just another sign that Long Island City is a great place to live, work and go to school.”

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 10:52 am, October 12, 2011
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