The building expansion continues to move closer to being a reality. While it seems like we are often spinning our wheels while complying with campus and state procurement and construction rules, we recall that the very wise Confucius said “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”
We are many steps closer to meeting our $1.5M giving goal towards our $3.5M addition. We have secured $975,000 in gifts to join our $1M from LER and $1M Provost Match. The project has become more ambitious in recent months, as the decision was made to replace our building air handlers and all existing windows. While this will add another $2.1M to our overall project budget, and pushed the project to the level of requiring Board of Trustee approval, we are confident that a more comfortable and efficient environment is an important addition to this space.
Currently, we have selected an architect for the addition and renovation of the building, and they are completing the contractual process with the University. We hope to have more images and plans soon. Because of the project expansion and approvals, groundbreaking is now scheduled for 2018 and the project should take about a year. The excitement is building!
We would like to thank PepsiCo for their campaign to build on the generous $50k gift from their corporate office towards the space. LER alumni in their businesses contributed an additional $50k through the spring Dean’s Challenge and their corporate match, and we will now be naming the new lobby for PepsiCo. Congratulations, and thank you to our “Illini Mafia” within the PepsiCo organization. It’s a valued partnership, and we’re proud to have your logo prominently displayed in our new space.
Don’t forget to take advantage of your corporate match in your respective organizations when considering a gift to the building. You could even band together with fellow LER alumni and demonstrate your pride together, as PepsiCo did this summer.