The University of South Carolina showed off its new $80 million law school building to reporters this week.
The 187,500-square-foot facility occupies nearly an entire city block in downtown Columbia. The new building is an attempt to help the USC School of Law recruit high-quality students and faculty and improve a ranking that has dropped to #88 on the 2017 U.S. News & World Reports list of best law schools.
The building has 17 classrooms and two actual courtrooms, one of which can also be used as a 300-seat auditorium.
USC paid for the building with $20 million from state funding, $18 million in private donations and the remainder through borrowing.
The building is projected to earn Silver LEED certification for its design, construction, operations and maintenance. All classrooms have translucent and blackout shades, and LED lights adjust automatically as natural light changes.
New students will begin to use the building for summer classes starting June 1.