Illinois State’s campus is in a constant state of renewal. One great example of this came last spring when the $44 million revitalization of the Bone Student Center was completed.
Things are no different this fall as work finishes up or continues on several major projects. Here is an update on four of those from David Gill, Illinois State’s director of Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction.
Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts
The long-awaited renovation of the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts complex is back on track. The University is currently in the redesign phase of the $61.9 million project, which had been in limbo the past decade as the state allocated, withdrew, and eventually released funding for construction.
Plans call for a combination of renovation and new construction that will enhance instructional spaces in the following facilities located on the southeast corner of the Quad: Centennial East and Centennial West, both constructed in 1959; the Center for the Visual Arts (CVA), constructed in 1973; and the Center for the Performing Arts (CPA), completed in 2002. Centennial West will be demolished and replaced with a larger, one-story commons building that will house School of Theatre and Dance studios and administrative offices currently located in the CVA. Additions will be built to the south side of the CVA, to where the glass arts program will be moved, and to the east side of the CPA. Also, the CVA and Centennial East will receive several repairs and improvements.
Construction could begin as early as next year and is expected to take about two years. The first floor of the CVA and Centennial West will be vacated during the project, and the affected academic and staff areas will be temporarily transferred to Julian Hall, Milner Library, and the former Weaver’s building on North Main Street across from Hancock Stadium.
The new Multicultural Center opened in August in the former Instructional Technology and Development Center at 301 South Main Street. The $4.4 million renovation provides spaces for cultural, community-based student organizations; an event space; three conference rooms; a social justice library; a media room; staff offices; a kitchen; all-gender restrooms; a reflection room; and space for a future podcast room.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and cultural celebration for the new Multicultural Center is scheduled for October 15. Previously, the 16,200-square-foot building, which dates to 1957, housed the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT). That unit has been moved to Williams Hall and may eventually be transferred to a more permanent home in Milner Library.
Nursing Simulation Lab
The Mennonite College of Nursing’s Simulation Lab will triple in size under an $18 million project that will dramatically increase the college’s clinical training facilities and allow it to enroll more students.
The University will demolish a vacant house and apartment building immediately west of the current lab, which opened in 2011 just north of the Bone Student Center parking lot, and build a new two-story facility. The current lab and the new building would be connected by a joint entryway and comprise a combined 30,000 square feet. The University is in the process of hiring an architectural firm for the project, which is estimated to be complete within about three years.
The University has been replacing Julian Hall’s first-floor parking garage with academic spaces. Three classrooms, two collaboration rooms, and a lobby were added for the cybersecurity program as part of a $6 million project that was finished before the fall semester.
The rest of the garage space is currently being built out to temporarily house areas of the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts that will be displaced during that college’s major renovation. Julian Hall dates to 1970 and is located on the east side of South School Street across from Moulton and Hovey Halls.