Projects pave way for green campus

Construction takes place at the north end of Memorial Stadium on July 11. Erica Magda

By Lisa Chung

In the past five years, the University has taken on several projects to improve the campus by constructing new buildings and renovating older ones.

Facilities such as the Intramural Physical Education (IMPE) building, 201 E. Peabody Drive, Memorial Stadium, 200 E. Florida Ave., the College of Business Instructional Facility on the corner of Gregory Drive and Sixth Street and the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building near Third Street and Gregory Drive, will be renovated or built to integrate innovative technology and design into the historical landmarks already on campus.

“People understand that as you are growing and improving, there are going to be some inconveniences,” said Robin Kaler, University spokesperson. “In the interest of our students, faculty and staff, we certainly wouldn’t want to not refurbish and build as appropriate.”

IMPE was in need of renovations because it did not completely fulfill the needs of students.

“In 1971, the University had the largest and best recreation center in the nation, but as time moved on, (IMPE) grew obsolete,” said Michael Kaplan, the student director of the Division of Campus Recreation.

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The amount of square footage provided by IMPE before construction was not what the students desired, said Gary Miller, associate director of Campus Recreation.

The completed building will offer students multiple workout facilities, including a 34-foot climbing wall, Kaplan said.

Unlike IMPE, the original architecture of Memorial Stadium is being carefully preserved throughout renovation.

“The stadium is a campus icon and really an icon for the state of Illinois,” said Kent Brown, assistant athletic director.

After renovation, the stadium will provide more seating and a clearer view of the field.

“The new extended seating area has a straight view right into the video board,” he said. “(This seating area) gives a really spectacular view.”

Along with these two projects, the College of Business Instructional Facility and the Student Dining and Residential Programs building are being constructed to enhance the classroom experience and improve student life.

“The rooms in the (Business facility) are designed to be better rooms in which to learn and to teach,” said Clifford Carey, a project manager for the University’s Facilities and Services. “All the technology will be there and the comfort levels will be higher.”

The construction plan for the College of Business Instructional Facility was the first one on campus to use environmentally friendly materials, and the plan for the Student Dining and Residential Programs building is following suit.

Among other sustainable qualities, the Business facility will use several kinds of green roofs to decrease energy use. Also, the air conditioning will be delivered in a way that will create a healthier atmosphere.

As part of the University’s objective to become a more sustainable campus, all future construction projects will use sustainable materials, Kaler said.

Construction will be completed at IMPE, Memorial Stadium and the College of Business Facility in 2008. The Student Dining and Residential Programs Building is scheduled to be completed by 2010.