Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined officials from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on Nov. 17 to break ground on the site of UIC’s Engineering Innovation Building, the first new development on its near-West Side campus since 1991.
Designed by UIC’s in-house team and slated for completion in 2019, the 50,000-sq.-ft. building will replace a portion of a large parking lot at Taylor St. between the school’s existing Science and Engineering South Building.
The structure will bring together UIC’s chemical, mechanical and industrial, civil and materials engineering departments under one roof. It will feature instructional spaces, faculty offices and research laboratories including the school’s first “high-bay” facilities that will allow large-scale structural component testing.
“A significant part of our goal is to build UIC College of Engineering into one of the top 10 public, urban engineering colleges…,” said Peter Nelson, dean of the college of engineering at UIC.
UIC’s new building will also address the anticipated influx of new students. Over the last decade, enrollment within the engineering department doubled causing a demand for new facilities. Aside from the Engineering Innovation Building, a larger 150,000-sq. ft. Computing, Design, Research and Learning Center is currently being planned.
Also slated for dedication in winter 2017 is a new academic and student dormitory complex. The complex will rise at a parking lot near the northeast corner of Morgan and Harrison. The 10-story building costs $100 million and is expected to open in mid-2019. It will house 550 students, offering classroom and study spaces.