Reaching Stellar: Stories of Facilities and Technology
New Art | “Obstruction, Reflection, Transition”
The University of Illinois Springfield recently installed three sculptures by California-based artist Lisa Williamson outside of the Student Union Building. The rectangular sculptures, entitled “Obstruction, Reflection, Transition,” combine bright colors with high reflectivity stainless steel.
“The high reflection of the stainless steel—I really love the idea that it’s reflecting the architecture, it’s reflecting the foliage, it’s reflecting the change in seasons. For me, color is a huge part of the work,” said Williamson.
The artwork was made possible thanks to the John N. Chester Estate Fund, an endowed gift fund created with the intent of adding to the attractiveness of the University of Illinois campuses.
Facilities & Technology is a Reaching Stellar priority…because we are building tomorrow’s university today.
Another Stellar Year for Baseball
The UIS Prairie Stars athletes are having another amazing season in baseball. The men’s overall record is 34-14-1, as of May 9.
Thanks to generous donors, the UIS Baseball Field also looks good. The field has undergone extreme renovations over the past years to become what it is today. Most recently, the field turf was installed, giving UIS one of the premier playing surfaces in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The scoreboard was sponsored by the Bank of Springfield.
The future for the field is even brighter, with more enhancements coming, such as power, a press box, restrooms, concessions, locker rooms and coaches’ offices. For information on how you can support these enhancements, please contact Roy Brown, Deputy Athletics Director.
Go Prairie Stars!
Facilities & Technology are a Reaching Stellar Campaign priority…
Because we are building tomorrow’s University today.
Student Union | Design Award
The Student Union at UIS has received a design award from the American Institute of Architects. The building was designed by Workshop Architects of Milwaukee, Wisconsin & Dewberry of Peoria, Illinois. From the design jury comments: “The project offers a modern, fresh and spacious interactive space. The proposed program with flexible work spaces and overlapped activities seems very appropriate as a social catalyst for students on campus…. The building is a striking, inviting sculptural form. Its plan is well organized and the volumes within the building – for student government and the Starbucks pavilion, are nicely scaled and inviting.” Many thanks to the donors who helped to bring this “inviting” building to campus.
The Student Union | A Place to Study
As you probably know, students advocated hard for a Student Union. They gave many reasons for needing the building—a place designed specifically for students to hang out, eat, socialize, and catch up with each other. The Student Union is all of those for students, plus one more—a place to study. If you walk through the Student Union at any given time during the week, you’re sure to find students studying in groups or on their own, often with a cup of coffee nearby. The many windows, ambient light, comfortable seating and camaraderie of other students also working on assignments make the Student Union a popular study destination, including Siobhan Hoskins, pictured at right. You can find a slide show of just a few of these students here.
To the many alumni, UIS friends, employees, and students who helped bring this building to campus, here’s one more reason for us to be grateful. Thank you!
New Lobby for the UIS Performing Arts Center
The new University of Illinois Springfield Performing Arts Center is bringing more than just a new name to UIS. A major facelift of the lobby area is also planned. According to Bryan Rives, new director of the UIS Performing Arts Services, the space will have “amenities patrons expect of a world-class performance facility.” This includes a new grand staircase to the third-floor landing and a new ticket office. Over the years, 72,000 visitors have come to the performance venues now encompassed in the UIS Performing Arts Center, adding to the performing arts available in Central Illinois. “It was time for a refresh and to celebrate all of the accomplishments our organization has had over the years,” said Rives. More information in the UIS Newsroom.
Brookens Library Renovation
A major renovation project in Brookens Library will conclude in October. In her August column in the Springfield Journal-Register, Chancellor Koch wrote about the renovation:
“University libraries are no longer the quiet repositories of books they were when Brookens opened its doors about 40 years ago. Library Dean Pattie Piotrowski and her team have worked closely with Facilities and Services to design a contemporary space that provides a more active ‘learning commons’ and that fosters collaboration using both physical and digital materials. The renovation includes a more open layout, state-of-the-art LED lighting, modern and durable flooring, mobile furniture, and collaborative spaces that encourage group interaction and active learning. The project also adds a high-tech classroom for library instruction and workshops.”
If you love libraries and value UIS, please consider joining the Friends of the Library. They’re a wonderful group of people.
Innovate Springfield becomes part of UIS
On August 28, Chancellor Koch announced that Innovate Springfield, a downtown Springfield innovation and business incubator, is now part of the University of Illinois Springfield under an agreement that aims at expanding economic growth, entrepreneurship opportunities and social progress in the capital city. Innovate Springfield becomes the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). This new initiative, led by the U of I System, was announced last fall. It seeks to accelerate statewide job creation and economic development through groundbreaking research and innovation.
“As the first statewide hub of the new Illinois Innovation Network, UIS faculty, students and local companies will work side-by-side and with experts across the state to develop solutions, promote entrepreneurship and empower inventors of the future,” Koch said. “It’s an ideal combination for all entities involved in this partnership.”
Michelle Ver Hagen | On Campus Remotely
When Michelle Ver Hagen presented her research at the UIS Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium, technology carried her words more than 1,500 miles from her desk in Phoenix, Arizona, to the Public Affairs Center at UIS. Michelle is an online student, and thanks to UIS’ asynchronous streaming technology, listeners were able to her speak about “Diversity, Humor and Educating the Masses with Gene Luen Yang’s The Shadow Hero.” She plans a career in Academic Librarianship and hopes to increase minority representation and visibility in libraries. (Based on a story by Malavika Mujumdar and Amanda Dinardo, used with permission.)
New Field Station at UIS
“There’s a new addition to our campus that lets us say for the first time: ‘UIS is on the lake!’” Chancellor Koch recently said about the new UIS Field Station at Lake Springfield. Just minutes from campus, it includes a 3,000-square-foot building, more than 400 feet of lakeshore and a dock system. . Under the leadership of Dr. Tom Rothfus (pictured at lefh), the Field Station is a multipurpose educational, research and recreational facility.
Building tomorrow’s University today.
Bank of Springfield Scoreboard
When Chris Ramirez, coach of the nationally ranked UIS baseball team, came to UIS in 2013, the team had no place to play at UIS and instead played games at parks throughout Springfield. Today, the team has its own home field with a new synthetic turf and big plans to develop a premier baseball stadium with covered hitting and training facility, locker rooms and a clubhouse, restrooms and a concession area. According to Coach Ramirez, it all started with a gift from the Bank of Springfield for a scoreboard. A little support from a major booster, Ramirez said in an SJR article, and within a year the team had a home field. That’s the difference a gift can make. More information on plans for the UIS Baseball Stadium.
Ann Comerford | Student Union
Ann Comerford is the Executive Director of the UIS Student Union, or “STU” as it has come to be called. “It is truly a community hub for the campus,” she said. “Students study and eat here, and there are a lot of programs and events. This is a place where people get to know the campus community. It’s great for UIS and also for Springfield.” View a photo gallery of the STU in use since its opening in January through September 2018.
Marissa Jones | Student Union
You may never have thought of the Student Union as a real-life lesson in environmental studies, but for Marissa Jones it has been exactly that. Marissa first became passionate about sustainability in a course taught by Dr. Megan Styles. After being appointed as the Campus Sustainability Projects Coordinator, Marissa was further excited to learn all the sustainable features included in the Student Union design—features that will qualify the Student Union for a LEED Gold Certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a rating system to evaluate and encourage sustainable design. “A LEED Gold Certification will not only save us money,” Marissa says, “but will also prove our motto of ‘Leadership lived’—this time through sustainable infrastructure!”