Projects across Hyde Park will dramatically change the face of campus

By Ben Rossi

A slew of planned building projects will dramatically change the face of the campus in the next decade, resulting in brand new facilities for many departments and an improved hospital complex. (Of course, there are also plans for brand new fundraising efforts, even as the University is wrapping up its $2.38 billion Chicago Initiative that financed the majority of campus development over the last decade.) Here’s an overview of the next 20 years’ worth of construction projects.

Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts

This facility, located on East 60th Street between South Ingleside and Drexel Avenues, will house all or parts of four University programs: Visual Arts, Music, Theater and Performance Studies, and Cinema and Media Studies. The building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, will include a 450-seat auditorium, as well as other performance spaces, classrooms, and studios. Slated to open in 2011, the University expects to raise $100 million to complete it. Currently about 40 percent of the funds have been secured, the majority from a $35 million donation by the Logan family.

Joe and Rika Mansueto Library

Probably the most noticeable addition to the University’s campus, this giant glass dome located immediately west of Regenstein Library will house as many as 3.5 million volumes in its underground hold. Designed by Helmut Jahn, the library will descend 50 feet into the earth and feature a grand reading room and a much-touted automated storage and retrieval system that fills online volume requests. Morningstar, Inc.’s CEO Joe Mansueto got his name on the project by giving $25 million towards the $80 million cost. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010.

Harper Memorial Library

The shabby gloom of Harper Library and Stuart Hall may hold a certain charm to some. But the University plans to renovate these rooms with improvements in technology, lighting, and furniture. Harper will be redesigned for individual study and Stuart for group study. A small café and student art gallery will join the two reading rooms. The project is slated for completion in 2010.

Center for Physical and Computational Sciences

This new research quad will vastly expand the research and laboratory space on campus. The Accelerator Building, High Energy Physics Building, Astronomy and Astrophysics Center, and the Low Temperature Laboratory will be razed to make way for the Center. The combined Research Institutes and former Accelerator Building will house the Astronomy and Astrophysics and Computer Science departments as well as the Kavli, Computation, Enrico Fermi, and James Franck Institutes. The Research Institutes building will be renamed the William Eckhardt Research Institutes in recognition of a $20 million gift. The Center will stand eight stories tall and will also incorporate green technology to minimize energy consumption. Construction is expected to be completed in spring of 2013.

Harris School Facility

The Harris School will move into a new building on the Midway to accommodate more classrooms and offices. A $5 million gift from the Harris Family Foundation anchors the $14 million raised so far.

Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery

Construction of this 330,000 square foot, 10-story glass-walled building on the east side of South Drexel Avenue has been ongoing since 2005 and will be completed by March 2009. The $165 million center, named after donors Jules and Gwen Knapp, will house laboratories and office space for researchers and grad students in the medical and pediatric departments. Half of the building will be devoted to a research center studying childhood diseases—the first of its kind in the country. The design combines a neo-Gothic base with an expansive glass-curtained top.

New Hospital Pavilion

The largest building project ever undertaken by the University, this 1.2 million square foot addition to the University hospital will stretch from South Cottage Grove to Drexel Avenue on East 57th Street. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, the creator of the GSB’s Harper Center, the hospital will house the Medical Center’s clinical programs involving high-tech specialty care. The building’s innovative design is based on a series of modular cubes built in a grid pattern. Construction will begin next year with an estimated completion date of 2012. The $700 million price tag will be paid entirely through clinical revenues and philanthropy.

Laboratory Schools

The Lab Schools are going through a major expansion and renovation to accommodate enrollment growth. The expansion will include an Early Childhood Center as well as a new library, classrooms, and performing arts spaces. With $23 million secured for the project, the University’s Board of Trustees began the selection process for the architect in the summer of 2008.

New Residence and Dining Hall Facility

Located at East 61st Street and South Ellis Avenue, this 800-room dorm designed by Goody Clancy will include a 542-seat dining hall and a convenience store. It will replace the Shoreland and should be available to students in fall 2009. The residence hall is part of a wider plan to develop the south campus and revitalize the community surrounding it with a new parking structure, office building, and the Midway South Winter Garden.