Gov. Pritzker Celebrates Groundbreaking for Rebuild Illinois Funded Computer Design, Research, and Learning Center at University of Illinois Chicago
CHICAGO - Governor JB Pritzker today joined University of Illinois leaders and other stakeholders to break ground on a new Computer Design, Research, and Learning Center (CDRLC) at the University of Illinois Chicago. The new 135,000 square foot Center will provide state-of-the-art facilities for research and innovation, accommodate the rapidly increasing undergraduate enrollment in computer science, and become a major campus hub. Construction of the new $118 million center is partially funded by a $98 million funding allocation from Rebuild Illinois, Governor Pritzker's bipartisan capital plan and the first in nearly a decade.
The new building will create a hub for both engineering and computer science with a 1,200-square-foot robotics lab and 16,000 square feet of classroom space.
That includes research areas comprised of 16 classrooms, 35 dry and specialty labs, collaborative teaching and learning spaces for undergraduate and graduate students, an undergraduate learning and community center; an auditorium; and a flexible events room; all unified by a five-story daylit atrium. The CDRLC will be delivered on an accelerated schedule to meet the demands of the department, doubling its capacity by 2023.
"Rebuild Illinois is about so much more than transportation infrastructure. It's investments in early childhood education facilities so our children can get the start they deserve. It's updating hospitals so they can provide families with quality care. And it's state-of-the-art new buildings at our world-class institutions of higher education, which have made Illinois a hub for the most talented people in the nation," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Today we're celebrating a $98 million Rebuild investment in a new Computer Design, Research, and Learning Center right here at UIC - ensuring this institution is at the forefront of innovation in higher education. We're building a public space where students can discover and collaborate - because here in Illinois we need more bold thinkers and more brave risk-takers to solve our toughest problems."
The new CDRLC is designed to be a welcoming, inclusive, and inviting space for UIC's diverse student body. The project will consolidate the currently fragmented Computer Science Department in a new home and co-locate it with a large cluster of university-administered classrooms at the heart of the east campus. The project will also include a new geo-thermal farm beneath Memorial Grove that will assist with sustainable heating and cooling of the building, and the building will be designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. It also will be the new home for UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory, an internationally renowned interdisciplinary research lab.
"The Illinois Capital Development Board is proud to work collaboratively with the University of Illinois Chicago and the Pritzker administration to break ground on this state-of-the-art learning facility," said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood. "We look forward to the successful completion of the project, and the opportunity to meet the growing needs of UIC's students."
"This new facility will meet the demands of the current advances in computer science and will create an ideal environment for our students, faculty and staff to learn, teach, and discover. It will also serve as a welcoming place for our rapidly growing number of computer science and engineering students, offering them the necessary amenities to study and work together outside the classroom," remarked UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis. He went on to say, "We are very grateful for the priority Governor Pritzker has placed on public higher education and for the legislative support on his plans, which allow us to fulfill our mission and develop the best prepared and most diverse workforce for the future."
The Computer Design, Research, and Learning Center at the University of Illinois Chicago is made possible by Governor Pritzker's bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the first in nearly a decade. The historic plan, passed with bipartisan super-majorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers, and state facilities like the new crime lab and veterans' homes, creating, and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the six-year plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.