Six-pack renovations will result in new Ikenberry Commons

By Michael Logli

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees will meet Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union, and will have discussions on items concerning construction and renovation projects around campus, Global Campus expansion and other budget issues.

The long metal support beams that make up the frame of what will be the Stanley O. Ikenberry Commons may be eyesores to nearby residents, but, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, the main building may be finished by the summer of 2012.

The only problem is that Garner Hall is in the way.

In order to house the combined 3,000 students both buildings will hold, the University will begin tearing down, and then immediately rebuilding, each Six-Pack residence hall, said Mike DeLorenzo, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and director of auxillary services.

More online: Keep checking throughout the day for updates on the Board of Trustees meeting.

These will create Ikenberry Commons and replace both the Gregory Avenue and Peabody Avenue Residence Halls. In order to begin the demolition and construction of the new Residence Hall West, money needs to be allocated to knock down Garner Hall.

According to the resolution, the estimated cost of demolishing Garner Hall is $1.5 million and the construction of the Residence Hall West will be $29.7 million. However, the resolution requests to provide $46.7 million. This is to cover the final touches on the current construction of the Residence Hall North and the dining hall, said Tom Hardy, executive director for University relations.

“It’s an important renovation of the residential facilities on campus,” Hardy said.

The University is paying for the construction through bonds to the University Housing Division. These bonds come from student fees and are meant to cover construction expenses and demolition costs, Hardy said. However, the University Housing Division is expected to pay these bonds back in the future.

Hardy said he hopes there will be no problems when the trustees look the resolution over, and he said he expects a lot of support behind it.

“I don’t want to take anything for granted or speculate,” Hardy said. “But I expect it to be embraced (by the trustees).”

The Board will also discuss the continued phasing-in of Global Campus. Trustees will vote on an item which, if approved, would set tuition rates for two master degree programs.

Masters programs in Technology Management and Management Information Systems are scheduled to launch May 6, 2009, according to Thursday’s meeting agenda.