CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor JB Pritzker announced construction will begin on the $100 million investment for the Illini Hall Replacement and Altgeld Hall Renovation Project at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus.

The funding is made possible by the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois Capital program, in conjunction with $40 million from University of Illinois System’s Illinois Innovation Network (IIN) and $52 million in institutional contributions.

“I couldn’t be happier to announce a joint investment from the state and our institutional partners to completely restore Altgeld Hall and construct a new facility to replace Illini Hall at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. From a state-of-the-art data science center to new lecture halls and classrooms, this project will provide UIUC students with the first-rate facilities they deserve as they embark on their educational journeys,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

The project includes a complete restoration of Altgeld Hall, the demolition of Illini Hall, and the construction of a new 140,000 square foot facility to replace Illini Hall. The demolition of Illini Hall marks the first phase of the multi-phase project slated to conclude in 2026.

Additionally, the scope of work includes providing a new data science center as part of the Champaign-Urbana hub of the U of I System-led Illinois Innovation Network. New classrooms, lecture spaces, and collaboration areas will be added to both buildings.

The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) will oversee the project, and has prepped the construction site for the demolition of Illini Hall, occurring at the end of January, with asbestos abatement already underway. A new 4,614 square-foot auditorium will be constructed for Illini Hall, along with almost a dozen new classrooms. A portion of the new building will host the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The new Illini Hall will be designed and constructed to meet LEED Platinum Certification; the highest level of certification possible from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The exterior of Altgeld Hall will receive extensive repairs to the stone veneer and bell tower, which will continue to serve as a historical campus landmark, prior to beginning the interior renovations. Altgeld Hall will receive new accessibility features and a complete restoration of the building’s original murals. A new research space for the Illinois Geometry Lab and the Illinois Risk Lab will be added to the building, as well as new tutoring rooms and classrooms.

“We’re grateful for this major investment by Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois and the University of Illinois System,” said Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin, Urbana. “These two projects celebrate our campus history and embrace the future. The iconic Altgeld Hall will be restored, and the new Illini Hall will support research and education in mathematics, data science, and analytics, areas in which UIUC leads the nation. Both projects exemplify sustainable practices through repairing, repurposing, and meeting green building standards.”

“We welcome the continued investment in the Champaign-Urbana campus,” said Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen, Champaign. “This project melds the ongoing restoration of Altgeld Hall, a building with significant historic significance with the creation of new tech innovation spaces that look to the future of our campus. These projects will help us continue to bring the best and brightest to UIUC and will ultimately drive economic development and growth not only in Champaign but also throughout the State.”

“The start of construction on this transformative facility is a historic moment for the entire university,” said Urbana Chancellor Robert J. Jones. “These new, innovative, tech-enabled spaces will rejuvenate the core of campus and become home to current and future generations of students and faculty pursuing excellence in data sciences and advanced analytics.”