University of Illinois Construction- UPDATE

I was back in Champaign this weekend and was able to check out first hand the construction projects in and around campus. Since I recently touched on the mid-rise apartment complexes currently under construction I thought this time around I’d post some pictures and thoughts about the Business Instructional Facility and another project I just heard about this weekend.

The $60 million Business Instructional Facility designed by Cesar Pelli and Associates is scheduled to open fall of this year. Under construction since April 2006, I was able to watch a significant portion of its early construction walking to class each day. I’m going to reserve judgment until I return in the fall and I’m able to actually experience the building (walking around the exterior behind a construction fence does not count as experiencing the building). Check out all the details of the building here. While you wait for my final verdict here are some pictures I snapped.

And now the project I just heard about this weekend, although it was approved by the Board of Trustees back in 2005. I’m guessing I didn’t hear about it because in was either mixed in with the whole Chief Illiniwek debate the Board was fighting or its a project, looking back now, that was not a good one to approve. The project is the McFarland Memorial Bell Tower.

Fair warning: Be prepared to shield your eyes almost immediately. But other than that, do enjoy.

I don’t want to hear any more complaints from Ball State people about Shafer Tower. I’m not exactly sure what to say besides, WHAT THE FUCK?! Are you kidding me? This is the perfect April Fools joke. Right? Words from the official literature used to describe this new construction, include “harmony” and”integrate”. Really? Doesn’t look like it does either to me. Some details if you still care: 185 feet tall (HOLY FUCK!) and 49 bells.

Lets hope future construction (and theres a lot “planned” as seen on the latest Campus Master Plan) takes a better direction.

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