IIT revises project; reduces $37 million innovation building to $25 million structure

iit innovation center
The building rendering as published on the IIT website in 2015. The project has seen significant budget reductions so the structure might not look like this when it is completed.

The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is building a new two-storey building at 3137 S. Federal St., but the project that will be built with the permit issued on March 28 is smaller and $5 million less expensive than the original permit issued in February. And that planned building was a step down from the originally envisaged project in 2015, which had a $37 million budget, reduced later to $30 million.

Although the permit doesn’t name the building, the project’s architect John Ronan is the same as the architect for the new Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship announced in 2015, which according to the news release then, was expected to start construction last year (and would have been three stories).

iit campus
The area where the new building will be located

The updated permit says: “Building is reduced in size by eliminating lower level and 24′ structural bay, relocation of enclosed rooms, restrooms, mechanical, electrical and plumbing rooms and modify existing building systems per plans.”

IIT held a groundbreaking ceremony for the building last August, but said then that construction wouldn’t start until this March. (Originally, construction was to start in the spring of 2016.)

Then, the Chicago Tribune reported:

Illinois Tech officials now say the building will be smaller and cost less than originally planned. Preliminary work will be done this fall, with full site construction scheduled to begin in March.

The project was put on hold so the school could raise money for the building, said Bruce Watts, vice president for Facilities and Public Safety. It took longer than originally expected to meet funding goals, he said.

The purpose of the building remains the same, but the budget was reduced to $37 million from $45 million, he said.

“Now we have all the funds committed that we need to build the building,” Watts said. “We also made some design changes in order to bring the design project within budget.”

The new designs, also from John Ronan Architects, show a 70,000-square-foot building with two floors instead of the original three. The basement was eliminated to cut costs on excavation and water control, Watts said. The length of the building was reduced by about 24 feet, which eliminated some work space.

Power Construction Co. is listed as the general contractor on both the original and revised permit. Key subtrades include: Electrical – Gurtz Electric Company; masonry – Cerami Construction Co. Ltd.; plumbing, refrigeration and ventilation, Advance Mechanical.


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