Tenley Campus - Overview

Washington College of Law (WCL), which has outgrown its current facilities, will relocate from Massachusetts Ave. to new facilities to be built on Tenley Campus.

  • The new law school will support a student population of 2,000 and a faculty and staff of 500, provide 50 percent more space than its current location, and feature 312,000 square feet of facilities and parking for 400 vehicles.
  • Construction of the new campus is expected to begin in July 2013 and finish in August 2015. Students who live in residence halls on Tenley Campus will be relocated in spring 2013.

The new structures will be configured to define a prominent new identity for the law school, while also honoring the rich historic legacy of its site. To accomplish this goal, all construction will embrace and incorporate fully the historic Capital Hall and its chapel, as well as Dunblane House. It also will retain and reinforce the central quadrangle as an open and accessible green public space, and improve the front lawn and perimeter of the site to increase opportunities for public access and enjoyment. To accommodate the new plans, Congressional Hall, Federal Hall, and Constitution Building will be demolished.

The new law school construction will include:

Capital Hall Renovation

  • Capital Hall’s interior will be renovated to adapt most of the existing structure for office and small meeting use.
  • The lower level will be converted to student offices for legal briefs and journals.
  • The first level will accommodate administrative support offices such as Student Affairs, Financial Aid, and the Registrar.
  • Administrative offices also will occupy a majority of the second and third floors.
  • The chapel will be renovated to accommodate the WCL Trial Advocacy program; the main sanctuary will house a ceremonial moot courtroom; and the lower level will serve as multiple, flexible teaching courtrooms.
  • Capital Hall’s existing exterior service court will be converted into an enclosed atrium that will connect to a new law school building on Yuma Street. The atrium will serve as a common area for the east end of the WCL campus.

New Nebraska Avenue Building

  • This building will accommodate the law school’s ceremonial courtroom, a large lobby intended for small gatherings and receptions, and several large format tiered classrooms on its first floor.
  • The second, third, and fourth floors will be home to the Pence Law Library and feature both formal and informal study areas, group study rooms, library collections, public legal resources, and administrative support areas.

New Yuma Street Building

  • This four-story building will be adjacent to Capital Hall and the chapel, and will be configured to engage seamlessly with Capital Hall’s formal integrity and architectural character.
  • An enclosed atrium, to be built on the existing service court adjacent to Capital Hall, will connect the upper floors of this new building with Capital Hall.
  • The floor level will include classrooms and a dining facility.
  • The second level will include faculty offices and lounge, clinic and trial advocacy teaching spaces, as well as clinic spaces and clinic break-out classrooms.
  • The third level will include additional faculty office space and clinic space.
  • The top floor will accommodate the remaining large instructional spaces and tiered classrooms.