Stalled renovations empty Lincoln Hall

Kevin Koo, sophomore in LAS, goes online on his laptop before his advertising lecture begins in Lincoln Hall. Laptops can help you learn if you use them right.

Kevin Koo, sophomore in LAS, goes online on his laptop before his advertising lecture begins in Lincoln Hall. Laptops can help you learn if you use them right.

By Renee Chacko

A capital bill proposal that failed in the Illinois House last week appropriated nearly $55 million to renovate the University’s Lincoln Hall. Now, officials are looking to prepare for any projects that can be funded without a capital bill. Meanwhile, students can expect to attend classes in other locations this semester as those plans are developed.

“We are planning to prepare for renovation,” said Matthew Tomaszewski, LAS assistant dean for facilities and spaces. “Nothing is approved as of yet, but we are hoping to start planning for exterior and roofing repairs. Our hope is that the state would help with the funding in the near future.”

The minimal renovation projects will be funded by a fee already built into student tuition. According to Tomaszewski, the University’s Facilities Management and Scheduling Department did not schedule classes in Lincoln Hall for the fall semester since it was unsure whether the University would receive capital funding.

“We knew it was going to be difficult to find time and space for each class, but Facilities Management and Scheduling did a really good job scheduling classes with as little disruption to students as possible,” Tomaszewski said.

Although deans’ offices will still be located in Lincoln Hall for the fall semester, Tomaszewski said teaching assistants will be taken out of the basement of Lincoln Hall.

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“Obviously the basement is not a place conducive to learning, so there will be no more advising meetings with T.A.s going on there,” he said.

Departments that ordinarily scheduled classes in Lincoln Hall have been shifted to other buildings, including the Armory and Wohlers Hall.

The structure was completed in 1911 and the last renovations made were in the 1930s.

Student Trustee Paul Schmitt hopes that the limited use of Lincoln Hall next semester will send a message to the state about the University’s great need for funding.

“The failure of the capital bill is a tremendous blow to the U of I,” Schmitt said. “I think the state needs to know that if we don’t act soon, we’re at risk of losing our valuable assets.”