Math-Stat renovations resume after fire

Four months after a fire halted renovations to the Math-Stat building, construction continues.

By Jonathan Lai

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Four months after a fire tore through the statistics and mathematics building, renovation of the building has resumed.

The “adaptive reuse” of the building is continuing as planned, according to architect Michael Rosen, whose firm is designing the project.

Efforts to renovate the building, located at 5727 South University Ave, for its future role as the Stevanovich Center for Financial Mathematics have been ongoing since last summer, but were set back by the extra-alarm fire, which broke out October 26, 2010.

The fire shut down construction of the building for “assessment of the damage and the development of a fire remediation plan and construction restart schedule,” according to Facilities Services’s web page for the project.

At the time of the fire, the building was unoccupied, and the flames destroyed the roof and various interior features. A firefighter received treatment at the University of Chicago Medical Center after sustaining injuries from falling debris. No other injuries were reported.

The Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) Bomb and Arson Unit investigated the fire and found it to be non-criminal, according to CPD spokesman Daniel O’Brien.

“The project is going to be completed as planned, but it was a major setback obviously because of the fire,” Rosen said. Still, he is optimistic about the construction. “There was a lot of destruction of the historic features, but the plan is to rebuild them,” he said.

A new timeline for the project completion will be announced soon, according to University spokesman Steve Kloehn.