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 Rendering of the Computing, Design, Research, and Learning Center’s Morgan Street facade. 

Dream big. Work hard. Do good. Six words that help encapsulate much of what UIC has been about in its short fifty-two year history. Today, they also specifically describe the College of Engineering, as Dean Peter Nelson and staff help to chart the course for the next fifty years of history by making plans to construct two new buildings that will serve a student body that has been growing steadily over the last decade and is projected to continue that growth.  Since December, building plans have progressed in key ways.

Computing, Design, Research, and Learning Center

Plans for the College’s new Computing, Design, Research, and Learning Center (CDRLC) made significant progress this past December, thanks to meeting a key fundraising goal for the project: A matching challenge was issued by E. Eugene Carter who agreed to contribute $1.5 million in matching dollars on the first $1.5 million raised for the building. This challenge was met by 28 donors, who collectively donated $2.2 million, for a total of $3.7 million raised by December 31, 2016.

The CDRLC is planned to be a 150,000+ square foot/six story building facing Taylor Street and immediately adjacent to the Engineering Research Facility. It is targeted for completion in 2021 at an approximate cost of $68 million.

The building will contain flexible-module classrooms in a range of sizes and types to support new learning paradigms; assembly and exhibition spaces; computing research laboratories; and dedicated facilities for student design and student organizations. It will feature active learning spaces and state of the art digital infrastructure to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty. With the ever-increasing demand for our engineering and computer science programs, the CDRLC building will play an essential role in allowing the College to continue to fulfill its mission of access to excellence and success.

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Rendering of the Modular Design Building, to be located at the southeast corner of Taylor and Morgan Streets.

Modular Design Building

The Modular Design Building budget was approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in November 2016, with the design and site plan approved by the Board of Trustees in March 2017. Since March, UIC staff have been working with architectural and engineering firms to develop construction plans and bid package specifications, with groundbreaking to occur before the end of 2017 and the building to be completed by spring 2019.

The building’s 50,000+ square feet will include space for three departments. Space for the Department of Chemical Engineering will include labs, classrooms, and office space for faculty and students moving from their current building, which is located off campus, east of the Dan Ryan Expressway. In addition, there will be new space for the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Department of Civil and Materials Engineering. The building includes an option to incorporate the campus’s first high bay structural research lab as part of the building. Plans for the proposed High Bay Lab include strong floor, wind, and water testing capabilities to test multiple hazards simultaneously.

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