New ECE building project moves forward with release of state funds
Tom Moone, ECE ILLINOIS
- The plans for a new ECE building made a major step forward with the release of state funds for the project.
- Leaders of the University and the College of Engineering noted the department's distinguished history and look forward to the innovations that will stem from the new building.
- Once constructed, the building will contain 230,000 square feet of instructional, research, and office space.
The project to construct a new building for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made a major step forward with the recent release of state funds for the project by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. The release of the state funds, which was part of a capital bill signed by the governor in 2009, came after the University administration, led by University of Illinois President Michael Hogan, made the case for the importance of this new instructional and research facility to the campus and the state.
The state funds will provide $47.5 million toward the project. That is half of the $95 million cost to build what will be a major addition to the Urbana campus.
In addition to the state funding, the University to date has successfully secured $37.5 million in private support for this exciting and important project.
Private support for this building has come from many generous friends and donors of the College of Engineering. The College of Engineering and the ECE Department are working to raise the remaining funds to reach the final target of $47.5M in private support prior to the project’s completion.
“This building will be a great benefit to our students, not only in the ECE Department, but in our college and beyond” said ECE Department Head Andreas C Cangellaris. “This new building is designed to inspire engineering education driven by societal needs and opportunities. With these new facilities and labs, we will continue to educate the leaders in our profession for generations to come.”
Now the process of soliciting construction bids has begun. It is expected that a contractor will be selected and the initial stages of the construction process will begin by the end of the year.
“The new ECE building will serve to support and advance the excellence of the College of Engineering at Illinois,” said Dean of Engineering Ilesanmi Adesida. “It will provide top quality facilities for world-class faculty to share their knowledge and research with the best and brightest students from the State of Illinois and from around the world.”
University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Easter said, “The ECE Department at Illinois is one of the truly outstanding engineering departments in the world. The innovations and achievements that have originated with ECE faculty, students, and alumni have been a credit to the University and have provided great benefit to our state and nation. This new building will only enhance its ability to innovate and succeed.”
The new ECE building will comprise 230,000 square feet of instructional, research, and office space, with an emphasis on student learning spaces. The building has the goal of achieving LEED platinum certification, the highest level of building efficiency. Beyond this certification, the entire project building is striving to achieve net-zero energy use, meaning that over the course of the year systems for the building will generate as much energy as they use. This will include some solar cells on this new building as well as nearby structures.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a world leader in education, research, and scholarship and is consistently ranked a top five program for undergraduate and graduate studies. ECE Illinois’s 100-plus faculty members are experts in a broad range of areas and its more than 2,000 students are among the brightest of their generation. The department’s 20,000 alumni are a driving force in the world of engineering and beyond. For more information visit www.ece.illinois.edu.
More information on the Building Campaign for ECE ILLINOIS can be found at www.ece.illinois.edu/buildingcampaign.