KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently handed over the
keys to a new law library at the University of Kandahar in Kandahar,
Afghanistan. The project, which began in
late 2012, will offer students and scholars a first rate facility in which to
study Afghanistan’s legal codes. The
Kandahar Law Library is another example of USACE and U.S. Force - Afghanistan
partnering efforts to build capacity in all fields through support of the
Kandahar University and its various departments.
The three story, 18,000 square foot building located on the
University campus cost approximately $3.6 million and was funded with Afghan
Infrastructure Fund money under the Rule of Law Sector. The building incorporates green concepts
including day lighting, allowing for natural light to meet most of the facilities
daytime internal lighting needs.
Maj. Jeff Ward, the officer in charge of the Middle East
District’s Afghanistan Area Office said that although he’s worked on many
projects for the Corps during his time in Afghanistan, this one stands out.
“Establishing rule of
law is a key step in modernizing Afghanistan, this library is a key step in
helping establish a legitimate justice system,” said Ward.
Although other departments at the University had libraries,
until now, there wasn’t one dedicated to the study of law and students had to
study wherever they could find space, often outside on the ground.
“The students have been awaiting the opening of this library
since construction started,” said Nikki Schmitt, Joint Program Integration
Office Afghan Infrastructure Fund program manager. “When we were visiting the site, they could be
seen sitting in groups outside the future law library studying.”
U.S. Agency for International Development has provided the
furnishings under an independent procurement to provide the Afghans a complete,
ready to use facility.
The project consists of the library, administrative building
and associated utility support and was officially turned over the University
Chancellor in April 2014.