URBANA – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Capital Development Board Executive Director Jan Grimes today announced $3 million for historic Lincoln Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Funds for planning and design are the first step in the renovation of what may be the University’s most recognizable building. State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson and University President B. Joseph White joined Director Grimes in making the announcement today.
“Lincoln Hall has stood proud on the U of I campus for nearly a century. This funding will move the renovation of Lincoln Hall forward – so students can learn there for another century,” said Governor Blagojevich.
Lincoln Hall was built in 1911 and has had no major improvements since the west half and theater were added in 1930. The planned $55.8 million construction project will reconfigure existing space for more classrooms and to meet current life safety codes. Instructional space will be concentrated on the first two floors and the backstage area of the theater, which has not been used for 25 years since the relocation of the Theater Department to the Krannert Center. The top two floors will be primarily faculty office space. The building will also receive upgrades to its electrical, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and computer network systems, as well as new flooring, ceilings and wall finishes. The project will retain the historic character of the building.
“The release of state funds for the rehabilitation of Lincoln Hall is so important for our University and community,” Rep. Jakobsson said. “So many University of Illinois students take classes in Lincoln Hall, and it is a beloved landmark of this campus. It is important to have quality learning space available to continue to attract world-class faculty and excellent students.”
“When I attended classes in it during the 1970s, Lincoln Hall needed renovation. Over the last three years we have been working diligently to make sure that funds were available for the Lincoln Hall project,” State Senator Rick Winkel said. “We are pleased to see our hard work pay off. The three million for continued planning of a major renovation of Lincoln Hall was one of the highest priorities for the Urbana campus this year. I look forward to the actual completion of the renovated Lincoln Hall.”
“Lincoln Hall has played a major role in the academic lives of our students for almost 100 years. It is home to a number of core disciplines, and its’ classroom space is frequented by our students more than any other place on campus. Refitting Lincoln Hall to better serve the changing needs of current and future students recognizes its place in our history, as well as its future role in establishing the state’s flagship campus as pre-eminent among public institutions in the nation,” Urbana campus chancellor Richard Herman said.
The selection of a design firm for the Lincoln Hall work is scheduled for this month and the project will be overseen by the Capital Development Board, which manages all state construction, renovation and repair projects.