Douglas Hall modernizes campus
This May, the UIC campus will see the beginning of the renovation process of Douglas Hall, culminating in a facility that will better suit the College of Business Administration. Approved by the Board of Trustees on January 15th of 2009, the nearly 16.5 million dollar project will provide students with new amenities while lowering the universities maintenance costs and carbon footprint.
According to the UIC website, the exterior of Douglas Hall will include insulated glass curtain walls to coincide with the adjacent Grant and Lincoln Halls as well as a second entrance to be constructed on the southeast corner of the building. Inside the facility, redesigned floor plans will provide students with large classrooms to replace outdated inadequately size rooms, improved work areas and college administrative offices for the Liautaud Graduate School of Business.
One of the features of the redesigned Douglas Hall will be a trading training floor which will give students the opportunity to gain experiences similar to the financial exchanges found in Chicago and worldwide. Also included in the new floor plan are multiple conference rooms and collaboration hubs that students can access 24/7 in order to utilize the available technology the building will be upgraded with.
Although there are many wonderful improvements to be expected from the renovated Douglas Hall, the cornerstone of the project will be the building achieving a LEED Silver certification or better from the United States Green Building Council, according to the Douglas Hall Project page on the UIC website. LEED Silver certification will require Douglas Hall to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and water, and lower operating costs. Certification of Douglas Hall will be yet another step towards the universityâ€™s goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.
UIC foresees achieving these goals by making use of materials made from post-consumer content, a geothermal well system and UICâ€™s cogeneration plant. The geothermal well system works by harnessing the power of the Earth to heat and cool the building. Geothermal wells are effective in our region due to our moderate ground temperature.
UICâ€™s cogeneration plant is a structure that runs on natural gas to both heat and power structures in one process. This is done by capturing the heat resulting from the power process to be used for space and water heating. Douglas Hall and other campus buildings utilizing these methods will greatly cut the cost of operating and heating.
The renovated Douglas Hall is scheduled to be open for student use by fall 2011. Space is being made available for offices currently in Douglas Hall to be temporarily housed in other facilites around campus including University Hall, the Administrative Office Building and Student Services Building. When the building is re-opened, the UIC student body will have a modern structure that will set the tone for future campus rejuvenation projects. Interactive floor plans of the renovated Douglas Hall can be found on the UIC College of Business Administration webpage.