Thompson Rivers University is getting $7.4 million from the province to complete the interior of its law school.
B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology John Yap made the announcement Monday inside the roughed-in space within the Old Main building with the distinctive roof.
The one-time capital grant will put flooring where there is concrete, sheet rock over bare walls and create classrooms, offices, study space and a law library.
TRU's vice-president advancement Christopher Seguin said the current two years of law students are in a number of buildings on campus. Space has been so tight, the law school could not have had another intake of students in fall of 2013 without the dedicated law school area.
The deadline for the 3,716 square metres of interior work to be completed is next fall's intake.
TRU is also chipping in $2.5 million from fundraising to put polish on the interior, Seguin said.
The law school building within Old Main has been TRU's top funding request to government for the past three years, he said.
Environment Minister and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake said that prioritization did help to make the case in Victoria.
Lake just announced on Friday that NorKam secondary was getting $6.3 million toward its trades and technology centre. The week before that, Premier Christy Clark vowed to complete the entire Royal Inland Hospital master site plan.
Asked what other announcements could be expected between now and the spring election, Lake joked "just good government."
He said the TRU grant was moved up because the construction work could be continued and because of the impact on the fall student intake.
But it does mean something else gets moved down on the priority list, he said.
And all that money will be accounted for, he added.
"The premier made it clear, we are going to balance our budget."
TRU president Alan Shaver said the funding allows the law school to become a state-of-the-art educational facility.
The 40-year-old Old Main building has been transformed on one wing by the unique wavy roof that reflects Mounts Peter and Paul in the distance.
Shaver said the funding will finish off the metamorphosis of a building some call an ugly duckling and transform it into "a functional piece of art."
Beyond the beauty, though, there is function. Law school dean Chris Axworthy said the renovation will create a first-class place for students to study their craft.
"Today is the beginning of a great stride forward," he said.
"We are really pleased to be in this building. We are really pleased to be teaching law here."
Law student Robert Fisher said he and his colleagues are aware of the space restrictions they have had to deal with and the reasons for it. They will be thrilled to take advantage of the new law school rooms when they're completed next year, he said.