URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — University Housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign celebrated the Illinois Street Residence Halls renovation with a dedication ceremony followed by tours on Thursday afternoon.
Officials said the ceremony included remarks from Chancellor Robert J. Jones, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Danita M. B. Young and opening and closing remarks from Executive Director of University Housing Alma R. Sealine. It ended with performances by various artists from Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. Tours of the residence halls, programmatic spaces, dining center and retail locations were offered right after the ceremony. Food samplings were available as a part of the tours.
University Housing began its partnership with Booth Hansen and Canon Design Architects in May 2018 to work on this 337,458 square feet project. The innovation took three years to finish and it costed a total of $133 million. The goals for the project were to enhance the residential experience, increase dining capacity and improve building efficiency and sustainability.
According to the Director of Housing Information & Marketing for University Housing Mari Anne Brocker Curry, the dining center was transformed from a small 750 seat facility to a large space that can serve over 1,300 guests through nine diverse micro-restaurants. It also features an I-shaped pasta maker and multiple art installations across the space. Lower-level programmatic spaces feature a promenade-style interior walkway with garage doors opening into engaging community spaces including a tea bar, Living-Learning Community lounges, multi-purpose rooms, University Counseling Center satellite offices and more.
The adjoining residence halls, Townsend and Wardall Halls, received new paint, flooring and furniture, electrical upgrades, HVAC climate controls, energy-efficient windows, individual-use bathrooms and additional accessible spaces for students with disabilities.
Check out the photos below for a closer look at the renovation of the Illinois Street Residence Halls: