Four years of change around campus

By Earn Saenmuk

One of most significant changes was made only two years ago— the restoration of the Alma Mater. The Alma Mater left campus on August 7, 2012 for an extended restoration and returned to campus on April 9, 2014. Unlike the previous graduating class, the class of 2014 can rest assured that they will have the Alma Mater in their graduation photos.

Garner Hall and Forbes Hall (two residence halls in Ikenberry Commons) were demolished in the summers of 2012 and 2013, and two new residence halls— Timothy J.  Nugent Hall and Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield Hall— were built. 

Another new residence hall, which currently is called “Residence Hall Three” under the Ikenberry Commons Construction Master Plan, is currently being built to replace Forbes Hall. Other changes around campus include the renovations of Gregory Hall, which was completed at the end of, the renovations of Lincoln Hall, which reopened in fall 2012 after a 2-year-long construction, as well as the renovations of Smith Memorial Hall and Davenport Hall. 

The addition to Nathan Newmark Civil Engineering building was completed in 2013, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering also started the construction on their new building, which is located adjacent to Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. The building will open for use in fall 2014.

During the summer of 2013, the telescope in the University Observatory was removed for renovation, and reinstalled before the open house in October 2013. It was the first renovation since 1954, and it will keep the telescope working for educational and outreach purpose.

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While many restaurants have come to campus, a variety of others have left. There are now two Wendy’s on campus, a new Japanese restaurant called Sakanaya, an Urbana branch of Ko Fusion, and Caffe Bene, the largest coffee chain from South Korea. There are also several more new clothing stores of various styles such as Apricot Lane, Fira and Dear;72.

Other than the landscape changes, the University has gone smoke-free, which began in January 2014. Smoking is prohibited on all campus property, both indoors and outdoors, in all vehicles parked on campus property. 

Earn can be reached at [email protected].