UIC Campus Master Plan: An Analysis of UIC Campus Renovations
By Dominic Smith and Sam Menegat
This is a projection of what the opening of UIC’s Mixed-Use Housing and expansion of the Events Field will look like post-completion. Rendering by UIC’s Office of Capital Planning and Project Management
“The 2018 Implementation Plan is a bold, visionary, and achievable
plan that supports the UIC mission of teaching, research, public
service, and healthcare. This plan will carry the university’s
positive momentum into and through the next decade with a solid
foundation for future growth.”
- Michael D. Amiridis, Ph.D, Chancellor of UIC
In November 2018, the UIC Campus Master Plan was updated and set as to what the future of our campus will look like:
At the time, school officials said that changing the physical infrastructure is a lot more than just a change in aesthetics, but “a change in the dynamic and trajectory of academic and healthcare programs at UIC as well.”
However, an appealing look to campus does matter a good amount. UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis said when announcing the project in November: “For a number of years infrastructure here hasn’t been a priority — we made it a priority through this process because it’s clear that we cannot achieve our strategic goals as an institution if we do not have the right infrastructure.” These ideas are expressed in the following visual:
With a very high want and need for infrastructure, a value is placed on how much these projects will cost. There are three phases to the UIC Campus Master Plan. The costs of the master plan are determined in the first phase, where the entire project, including funding required for completion, is conceptualized. The total was not specified, but the final cost runs to nearly $1 billion, and a project length span of 10 years. However this value is not set in stone. Amiridis mentioned in his press conference that this is excluding a potential second phase that lays out another “5 or 6” buildings, though it was too early to give an exact price tag because there are so many variables.
The goals are not entirely based on physical attractiveness of campus alone, but also on how efficiently these new buildings will be utilized for academics, the cultural connection to the rest of the city, and the social connection within campus itself.
Priority Focus Areas for the Implementation Plan. Mapping by UIC’s Office of Capital Planning and Project Management
Within the basis of the Master Plan, there are three major locations that are the center of the project: the west side of campus, or the healthcare campus, the east side of campus north of Taylor Street, and the east side of campus south of Taylor Street.
The overall developmental plan for the south side of east campus. Rendering by UIC’s Office of Capital Planning and Project Management
The south side of east campus houses the entire Athletic Department, as well as the majority of the Kinesiology Department. Listed at number 40 is the PEB Atrium Addition. This is the initial subject of this article. Though minute compared to some of the plans, the convenience that the addition will provide for the entire body of athletic facilities will be colossal.
The UIC Master Plan states: “To solve internal circulation and promote movement between the campus core and the athletic area to the south, the plan proposes a retrofit of the building’s central circulation spine and a new corridor addition along Roosevelt Road that appropriately links the western and eastern spaces of the building.”
This image was taken relatively even along the north side of the Physical Education Building (PEB), and on the south side of Roosevelt Road. This is the general vicinity of where the addition will allow a connection between east and west PEB. Photo by Sam Menegat
Students and student-athletes, staff, and faculty will appreciate this connection, as navigating the halls underneath PEB, which holds much access to the building, can be misleading at times.
Farrah Manthei, UIC Deputy Director of Athletics, said there had been discussions of a potential HVAC system being installed in or around the atrium to filter through PEB.
However, she mentioned that they “could run up to $500,000,” so this idea may at times seem far-fetched. There were also discussions about adding branding and new paint in the atrium of PEB.
“Branding would be ideal in PEB because the staircases, old piping, etc. are very dated,” Manthei said. “Adding branding, logos, and new paint would be beneficial for (PEB) to show pride and spirit, as well as a good, clean look for athletes as well as visitors.”
Finally, there have been talks about a collaboration of space-sharing with the Kinesiology department in order to create a shared nutrition station for student athletes. Being that Kinesiology owns a good portion of the space in PEB, especially in the atrium upstairs, this would allow more distribution and wiggle room for opportunity for the benefit of the plan long-term.
A panoramic view of the soccer stadium from the viewpoint of the bleachers. This is the furthest south on the entire campus of UIC that the entire plan covers. Photo by Sam Menegat
Manthei said this will be one of the first projects completed in the Master Plan.
“There has been a schedule set to break ground in November of 2019,” she said, adding that it could be finished less than a year later in the Spring of 2020.
According the Master plan, the new facility will feature elevated seating, a new turf surface for the field, a press box, an entry plaza and spectator elevated concourses.”
This is the current view of the entry area to the soccer field, nestled right behind Curtis Granderson Stadium, home of UIC Baseball. It features a black, coated chain link fence, a storage unit, and no pathway leading to the bleacher area for spectators. Photo by Sam Menegat
The most aesthetic aspect of this project, other than adding a custom turf surface to the field itself, is creating an entry plaza on the southeast side of the stadium.
Shelby Egan, Assistant Director for Campus Planning, mentioned the importance of a desirable entryway: “It is envisioned that the soccer stadium will instill pride and spirit in the UIC community, create a welcoming and visible entrance to the soccer field, and help to attract students, athletes, coaches, and fans.”
This is the final rendering of what is yet to come for UIC soccer. Comparatively, this is a much more visual pleasing option, with an open entry plaza featuring video boards and an improved external patio. Rendering by UIC’s Office of Capital Planning and Project Management