FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: October 28, 2002
Contact: Cheryl D. Peck
SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield broke ground for a new classroom/office building today in a ceremony attended by Gov. George H. Ryan and several other dignitaries. With gold shovels in hand, the Governor, U of I President James J. Stukel, and UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen turned the first soil for the $30 million building to be located just south of the Public Affairs Center.
Others participating in the groundbreaking were UIS Provost Michael Cheney, U of I Board of Trustees members Thomas R. Lamont and Marjorie E. Sodemann, Rep. Gwenn Klingler, Rep. Raymond Poe, Mayor Karen Hasara, UIS Campus Senate Chair Patricia Langley; and Student Government Association President James McFarland.
In his remarks to the gathering, President Stukel said, “It [the groundbreaking for the classroom building] makes visible the most basic value of this campus to the state, that is, as educator. We honor teaching and learning by committing wonderful new space to the thousands of students who will cross the threshold.”
“…This is not only a groundbreaking, but also affirmation that a college education, that a University of Illinois education, is a great investment,” President Stukel said. “On behalf of the University of Illinois – its past, its present and its future students – I extend profound thanks to Governor Ryan for his assistance in making this classroom building a reality.”
Construction of the four-story, 125,000 square-foot building is expected to begin in early December and be completed by summer 2004, according to Dave Barrows, UIS Director of
Physical Planning and Operations.
The building will house state-of-the-art technology, including technology-enhanced and
smart classrooms, computer labs, lecture halls, and academic program offices. The offices of Admissions and Records and other key student affairs offices will also be located in the building. Two of UIS’ four colleges – the College of Business & Management and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences -- will also relocate to the building, although some LAS programs will remain in their current locations.
Chancellor Ringeisen said the building will be the first point of welcome for prospective students, the most technically advanced building on campus, and the future hub and heart of UIS.
“It will contribute further to the formation of a campus quadrangle and the development of more green space, where students can gather and take part in activities, and have a more collegial environment in which to study and socialize,” Chancellor Ringeisen said. “And, because this building enhances our permanent structures on campus, UIS will be able to compete more effectively for students from throughout the state and, indeed, the nation.
It will certainly help us build our image as one of the best small public liberal arts universities anywhere, with professional programs and our traditional emphasis on public affairs.”
Chancellor Ringeisen thanked Governor Ryan “for making the identification of this building a priority of your administration. Without your strong and effective support and that of our legislative delegation, we would not be gathering here today for this groundbreaking ceremony.” He also thanked President Stukel for his personal support and great interest in the development of the Springfield campus.
The new building will allow consolidation of most academic programs into permanent buildings in the center of campus and will help alleviate a problem of overcrowding that has existed at UIS for several years, particularly in the evenings when 65% of UIS students attend classes.
Other buildings located on the quadrangle are Brookens Library, 201,000 square feet, completed in January 1976; the Public Affairs Center, 195,000 square feet, completed in October 1980; and the Health & Sciences Building, 57,000 square feet, completed in January 1992.