In April 2012, AJMLS 1422, LLC purchased the historic 110,000 square foot Warren A. Candler Hospital building for its Savannah Law School campus located at 516 Drayton Street, across from Forsyth Park.
Originally built in 1819, the Candler building has sat mostly vacant since 1980 when the hospital relocated to its current address. Once completed, the renovations will represent one of the largest projects to restore an historic property in the United States. The estimated cost of the renovation is $15 million and is being conducted in partnership with the Historic Review Board and other city planners. As part of the purchase, Savannah Law School is now the owner of the Candler Oak, listed on the National Register of Historic Trees as Georgia’s oldest oak tree. The law school has adopted the tree as its logo.
The school is located in the famous Savannah historic district and provides a comfortable learning environment for students. The historic renovation will take place over three Phases.
The first floor of the “B” building, which is the newer wing of the Candler Hospital, is the venue for student services. For the present, it houses the temporary library and offices, financial aid office, computer lab, study rooms, admissions office, career development office, student lounge, student government office, pro bono/externships office, and a workroom. In addition, there is a reception and security area. In the future, the first floor will include a one-stop, possible café, law review office, conference room(s), and dean of students’ office suite.
The second floor of the “B” building hosts faculty offices, classrooms, a workroom, conference room, and a deans’ suite. There are three classrooms on the second floor. The large classroom seats seventy. Of the two smaller classrooms, one will seats forty and the other forty-three. The deans’ suite maintains space for the administrative support of the dean and faculty along with a conference room, faculty and staff lounge, and electrical and IT rooms. The first floor consists of 10,923 square feet and the second floor consists of 9,214 square feet.
This phase includes the completion of the third and fourth floors in the “B” building. As the third and fourth floors in the building are completed, additional classrooms, a courtroom, conference rooms, workroom, lounges, conference rooms, and faculty offices will become available. Each floor will total 9,214 square feet. This phase is completed and is awaiting the permitting process.
This represents the longest and most complex phase of the renovation process. This historic renovation will cover approximately 70,000 square feet and will include substantial exterior preservation work. The library will find its permanent home on the first and second floors of that building. The deans’ suite and select other administrative offices will occupy the fourth floor. The third floor will host a reception hall and other offices. Architectural plans for this phase were completed during Phase 2.