The University of Maine School of Law in Portland. Credit: Courtesy of the University of Maine System

The University of Maine School of Law could soon move out of its cylindrical academic building on the edge of the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland.

The University of Maine System’s board of trustees will vote later this month on whether to move the law school temporarily for at least the next five years. That would provide time and space to tear down the current structure and construct a new academic building using philanthropic funds.

At a committee meeting Wednesday, Law School Dean Leigh Saufley said that the new location would allow the law school to grow and improve technology, which has been limited in its current facility.

“It will, I believe, really be a game-changer, both for the law school and all of the systems that work together,” she said.

The full UMaine board will vote on the change at its next meeting on May 24th after the committee approved the change on Wednesday. Board Chair Jim Erwin said the change is a first step as part of a larger plan to increase investment in the school.

“This is part of a pathway towards a sustainable, vibrant, innovative, distinctive offering, in kind of a new legal education marketplace. I strongly support this. But I want to be clear what the implications are. This is a much bigger deal than just moving to a new building,” he says.

The new lease could cost up to $960,000 per year.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.