Construction begins at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Campus


Chicago Construction News staff writer

Construction is set to start on the Illini Hall replacement and Altgeld Hall renovation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus.

The project includes a restoration of Altgeld Hall, demolition of Illini Hall, and the construction of a new 140,000 sq. ft. building to replace Illini Hall. The scope of work also includes a new data science center. New classrooms, lecture spaces, and collaboration areas will be added to both buildings.

“We’re grateful for this major investment by Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois and the University of Illinois System,” said Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin, Urbana. “These two projects celebrate our campus history and embrace the future.

“The iconic Altgeld Hall will be restored, and the new Illini Hall will support research and education in mathematics, data science, and analytics, areas in which UIUC leads the nation. Both projects exemplify sustainable practices through repairing, repurposing, and meeting green building standards.”

The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) will oversee the project in accordance with the protocol for state-appropriated construction projects.

CDB prepped the construction site for the demolition of Illini Hall at the end of January, and asbestos abatement is underway. A new 4,614 sq. ft. auditorium will be constructed for Illini Hall, along with almost a dozen new classrooms. A portion of the new building will host the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

The new Illini Hall will be designed and constructed to meet LEED Platinum Certification; the highest level of certification possible from the U.S. Green Building Council. The demolition of Illini Hall marks the first phase of the multi-phase project slated to conclude in 2026.

The exterior of Altgeld Hall will receive extensive repairs to the stone veneer and bell tower, which will continue to serve as a historical campus landmark, prior to beginning the interior renovations. Also, a new research space for the Illinois Geometry Lab and the Illinois Risk Lab will be added to the building, as well as new tutoring rooms and classrooms.

“The start of construction on this transformative facility is a historic moment for the entire university,” said Urbana Chancellor Robert J. Jones. “These new, innovative, tech-enabled spaces will rejuvenate the core of campus and become home to current and future generations of students and faculty pursuing excellence in data sciences and advanced analytics.

“These bold investments in our people and our programs will provide unparalleled educational experiences and deliver innovative research that improves lives and changes the world for the better.”


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