CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign held an opening ceremony for the Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building (Lu MEB) on Friday afternoon.
U of I President Timothy Killeen gave remarks, along with Chancellor Robert Jones and Rashid Bashir, the Dean of The Grainger College of Engineering.
Officials said the building serves as home and headquarters for the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE). It was initially named as the Mechanical Engineering Building when it was built in 1950. In 2019, the building was renamed to honor Illinois alumnus Sidney Lu who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1981.
According to officials, Mr. Lu contributed $21.5 million to MechSE’s “Transform MEB” project, which included additions and renovations that transformed the building from approximately 66,000 square feet of 1950s-era space to approximately 94,000 square feet of modern space complete with many instructional labs, community spaces, and active-learning classrooms. The total project cost was approximately $41 million.
The building was vacant from the start of construction in 2019 until the fall semester this year. Faculty and staff have been moving back in since August. Many of the lab spaces are in use for classes and the classrooms will begin holding classes in January.