Five current campus projects achieve campus goals, including balancing net zero campus growth and maximizing energy efficiency. But their key impact will be felt by the generations of students who learn, discover and collaborate within these spaces.
This piece was previously published in University Guide, the official guide to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Read the magazine online.
The Illini and Altgeld Halls Project calls for the construction of a new building on the site of Illini Hall by 2023 and the renovation of Altgeld Hall by 2025. It is a huge undertaking.
The new building will be an advanced classroom and research facility focused on mathematics, statistics, data science and machine learning. The Altgeld Hall renovation will preserve historic features while increasing energy efficiency, improving accessibility and creating state-of-the-art classroom space for the thousands of students who take classes there each semester.
Siebel Center for Design
The new Siebel Center for Design will set the bar globally for design thinking in education, says Thomas Siebel, the three-time Illinois alumnus who provided a $25 million lead gift to establish the center.
The new 59,000-square-foot facility will be located between Huff Hall and the Art and Design Building. It will feature five team-based collaboration studios for up to 400 students, including one studio for large-scale construction and graded access for full-scale prototypes; a large workshop for 3D printing, metal fabrication, laser cutting, water-jet cutting and computer-controlled machining; two digital media studios for video and audio recording; immersive technologies for virtual reality applications; and public gathering spaces, meeting rooms and galleries to encourage informal interaction.
Provost Andreas Cangellaris said the Siebel Center for Design will take the culture of interdisciplinary research represented by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and develop a culture of interdisciplinary education that will transform the experience of every student on campus.
Siebel said he hopes the center will be a place where students gather “to collaborate, to ideate, to create, to imagine the impossible, to advance the process of design thinking, to invent and reinvent the future and to make miracles happen.”
Campus Instructional Facility
The Campus Instructional Facility (CIF) project will add 122,000 square feet of instructional space at the southeast corner of Springfield Avenue and Wright Street, just west of Grainger Engineering Library. Scheduled for completion in 2021, CIF will bring together the sharpest minds across campus to teach and learn in state-of-the-art spaces. Classes throughout The Grainger College of Engineering and across the campus will be held here, with a special emphasis on active-learning spaces, distance-learning environments and cutting-edge innovation technology. The building will also serve as a testbed for entrepreneurship and student engagement while it frees up existing classroom space for new research labs.
“The Campus Instructional Facility project will inspire and enable innovations in interactive and immersive learning that promotes collaboration and teamwork among our students, no matter where they happen to be in place and time,” Provost Andreas Cangellaris said.
The Illinois Street Residence (ISR) Hall project involves approximately 316,300 square feet in renovation and new construction that will increase dining capacity, improve building efficiency and sustainability, and showcase a vibrant residential experience to students, parents and guests who visit campus.
The dining facility renovation and addition will increase dining space nearly 36,000 square feet, designed around nine micro-restaurants with a wide range of cuisine options. The dining building will also provide meeting, group study, recreational, lab and library space, and it will be one of the nation’s largest dining facilities on a university campus.
Lower-level programmatic space features a promenade-style “main street” interior walkway with garage doors opening into engaging community spaces such as a tea bar, Innovations Living-Learning Community garage, multipurpose rooms, a fitness center, meditation room and a university Counseling Center satellite office.
Townsend and Wardall residence halls will get their first major renovation since they opened in 1964. The comprehensive project will include renovation of student rooms and bathrooms, energy-efficient windows and upgrading infrastructure like climate control, plumbing and electrical power and lighting, communication and access control.
Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building
The Sidney Lu Mechanical Science & Engineering building project includes additions and renovations that will transform the building from approximately 66,000 square feet of 1950s-era space to approximately 94,000 square feet of LEED-certified modern spaces, community spaces and active-learning classrooms.
The reconfigured building will feature a state-ofthe-art complex of integrated, instructional and project laboratories. With nearly 7,000 square feet of makerspace, the new spaces will inspire creativity and foster teamwork, giving students greater opportunities to work, interact and learn in an environment optimized for innovation.
The total project cost is estimated at $41 million, and more than half of that amount was donated by alumnus Sidney Lu, chairman and CEO of Foxconn Interconnect Technology Limited.