FOR RELEASE: Immediate, May 5, 2003
New York State Judicial Institute Opens at Pace University
A Resource for the New York State Courts
WHITE PLAINS -- The nation’s first judicial training and research facility built by a state for its court system officially opened today.
At the opening ceremony, New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye said, “The New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University School of Law will be a year-round college for judges and a judicial research center that will provide seminars and workshops to help judges with pressing societal issues, such as domestic violence, drug addition, juvenile crime and environmental abuses.”
Chief Judge Kaye added that the Institute “will, far into the future, be a wonderful resource for the New York State courts, assuring always that our skills are polished and honed, helping us keep up with the fast-moving pace of changes in law and society, preparing us to meet the challenging new issues of the 21st century.”
The Dormitory Authority provided bond financing and construction project management services for the $15.7 million building. The DASNY project team was led by Managing Director Douglas VanVleck with Philip Piscatella, Director of DASNY’s New York City Courts Program; Project Manager Frank Frasco; and Field Representatives Daniel Loparco and Carl Waldenmaier. Kaeyer, Garment & Davidson Architects of Mount Kisco is the project architect.
This three-story, 28,000 square-foot structure contains a 160-seat auditorium, classrooms and conference rooms. The building has a small law library; with use of the Pace Law Library next door, as well as the Law School’s videoconference rooms and two mock courtrooms. The Institute’s façade is brick with curtain walls and has a limestone accent wall at the entrance.
Part of the State’s Unified Court System, the Institute will be responsible for training New York’s 1,300 state judges and more than 2,000 town and village judges. The new building will end a 20-year practice of using rented or borrowed space in courts, hotels and bar association meeting rooms to provide judicial education. Court personnel will operate the Institute, and the court system will reimburse Pace University for building maintenance.
Judge Robert G.M. Keating, dean of the institute, said in a published report that the site was chosen in part for its proximity to New York City, which has the largest concentration of federal and state courts in the nation. The center will operate a jurist-in-residence program, bringing judges from around the United States and abroad to study and collaborate with local judges, the law school faculty and the Judicial Institute. The building is wired for digital communication and can accommodate wireless technology and distance-learning classes.