CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Officials said the last major renovation of Altgeld Hall was 1956. That is why the University of Illinois is getting ready to do it again.

Altgeld and Illini Halls will soon look brand new. While many believe it is long overdue, these are not small projects. Together, they will cost the University almost $200 million.

It is a huge undertaking in the middle of a pandemic. However, this money was actually set aside long before the pandemic started. Most of it is coming from the State.

This is not just for a makeover. It is based on huge growth in students in mathematics and statistics.

Students taking classes in those majors have grown by 33 percent over just the past 10 years. This will make those buildings function better for those students. For example, Altgeld will have a new student services center. That will come with an advising suite and spaces for undergraduates to have clubs.

“And what’s exciting is that now we get to re-envision Altgeld Hall as an academic facility,” said Sheldon Katz, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It wasn’t designed that way, so now Altgeld Hall will become more student-oriented than ever.”

Altgeld is on the National Register of Historic Places. That means not much can change as far as the footprint of it. But along with renovations on the inside, it will also get a good cleaning. That dark color will be removed from the outside and the pink sandstone will be restored.

Illini Hall will be torn down and rebuilt. That demolition will start in summer 2021. Altgeld Hall renovations will start around fall 2021. Both should be finished by 2026.