A new year. A new University president. A new football stadium.
There’s lots of change on the Illinois State campus for the fall semester. To help returning students, alumni, and other Redbirds keep track of it all, here’s a roundup of the Top 5 construction projects that were completed over the summer, will be finished soon, or will get underway this year.
This one’s hard to miss. The Hancock Stadium renovation is nearing the goal line, with “Illinois State University” spelled out in big, red letters on the new east-side grandstand towering over Main Street. Fans will get their first look from their seats at the September 21 opening night game against Abilene Christian. (The Homecoming game, FYI, is October 5 against Western Illinois.) In the meantime, you can take a peek inside the new suites and other east-side amenities in a great behind-the-scenes video series produced by the RedbirdHD.tv crew. And for more Hancock history, check out the 50 Greatest Hancock Stadium Moments countdown running this fall on the ISU Redbirds Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The Circus Room in Bone Student Center got a complete makeover over the summer, in part to make it more accessible. The room’s sunken red floor was filled in and flattened out and the railings removed, meaning the room is one flat, open space. “The Circus Room’s former two-level structure caused service and accessibility challenges for years,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Dietz. The new space, which has already been used for a wedding before the semester started, is now actually bigger than nearby Old Main Room, said Barb Dallinger, associate director of the Bone. The public was invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the new Circus Room on Tuesday. The renovation is part of an ongoing effort to update the Bone; work on the roof and elevator was also done recently.
STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES
Students will have access to a completely renovated pharmacy this fall. Student Health Services (SHS) is wrapping up the third and final phase of a three-year renovation of their clinic, administrative offices, and pharmacy in the Student Services Building. (All work was done over the summers to not interfere with services.) The new pharmacy was the last phase (completed this month), giving students, faculty, and staff access to more over-the-counter items, increased shelving and display space, a designated waiting area, and other improvements. “It’s going to be a lot bigger, and more convenient for students to come in and look around,” said SHS Assistant Director Marti Gortner. “It’ll be so much different than it was before.”
UPTOWN ART GALLERY
A new art gallery in Uptown Normal will become the primary exhibition space for Illinois State’s University Galleries. The gallery, to be located in a vacant, 7,500-square-foot space at the corner of Broadway and Beaufort streets on the ground floor of the Uptown Station Parking Deck, is a partnership between the University and the town of Normal. In addition to hosting large-scale exhibitions of work by artists from all over the nation and abroad, the gallery will feature work by Illinois State students, faculty, and alumni of the School of Art. Architectural firms were being interviewed earlier this month, with design the next step. The goal is to have the space completed for fall 2014, said David Gill, director of Facilities Planning and Construction Management.
CARDINAL COURT SUBWAY
Campus Dining Services contracted with Subway to add one more location on campus, this one at Cardinal Court, which is now entering its second year. Construction has begun, and the new Subway is expected to be open later this month. Meal plan participants will be able to use flex dollars for purchases at this new location. The opening date and hours will be posted at Dining.IllinoisState.edu when available.
STATEside’s editor can be reached at rmdenha@IllinoisState.edu.