URBANA – February 12, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today joined University of Illinois leaders to rededicate historic Lincoln Hall following a long-planned $64 million renovation that modernized the building while preserving its past and creating hundreds of jobs. The ceremony took place on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, exactly 100 years after the building originally opened. Lincoln Hall remains one of the school’s most used instructional buildings and had gone without major improvements since 1930.
“This project reminds us of all the great things Illinois can accomplish when everyone works together,” Governor Quinn said. “Abraham Lincoln understood the power of education, and now Lincoln Hall can continue helping students tap into that power. The renovation highlights the building’s beauty and history while ensuring it will serve students for another century to come.”
Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program made the renovation possible, providing nearly $58 million for the $64 million project, with the remainder coming from the University of Illinois. The project created more than 900 construction and related jobs, and spending by those workers supported an additional 900 jobs in the local community.
Lincoln Hall was completely renovated, with special care taken to restore the historical integrity of the building, which was originally built to honor the 16th president. More space was added for offices and classrooms, new study lounges were created overlooking courtyards, and energy efficiency was significantly improved to include patches of grass on the roof. Classrooms are now outfitted with new computer-aided projectors, large screens and speaker systems.
“The renovated Lincoln Hall is a fitting tribute to Lincoln’s vision of access to higher education for students from all backgrounds,” Ruth Watkins, the dean of the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences said. “It’s a state-of-the-art facility appropriate for teaching, learning and scholarship for the 21st century.”
“It took lots of hard work to modernize Lincoln Hall while protecting and enhancing its historic features,” James Underwood, executive director of the Illinois Capital Development Board said. “We applaud all the men and women who made this project a success, and the Capital Development Board is proud it could play a role.”
Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $31 billion program, which began in 2009, is expected to support an estimated 439,000 construction jobs over six years.