CHAMPAIGN — Local politicians and Parkland College officials will celebrate the groundbreaking of a $28 million student services center today (Monday, April 16).
The new, 113,000-square-foot Student Services Center will house a new student lounge, bookstore, food service, meeting spaces and offices for advising, student groups and other units.
A start date for construction has not been determined yet, said Patty Lehn, director of marketing and communications, but the college is expected to find out later this week. The construction timeline is estimated at 15 months; work is expected to be completed by fall 2013 or spring 2014.
"It's been a long time coming," said Monticello resident Tyler Cravens, president of Parkland's student government. The college has spent years studying its needs and planning for the building.
The building has been described as a front door for the college, something the current campus layout lacks. Offices to be housed there include financial aid, student advising, recruiting and admissions.
For new students especially, navigating Parkland can be confusing, he said.
"As soon you as walk in the door, all students services will be there," Cravens said about the new building.
Cravens said among the benefits will be a new, more spacious, food service area.
Enlarged, improved and modernized offices also are planned, including meeting spaces that can be modified in size depending on the student group's needs.
About $15 million of the building's $28 million price tag comes from the state; the rest is paid by the college's bond sale proceeds. Architects are Perkins + Will and IGW Architecture. Poettker Construction is the builder.
The new facility will meet the LEED-Gold standard for sustainable building design/construction.
The groundbreaking ceremony will be at 4 p.m. by the circle drive near the L wing steps on the college campus, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., C. Parkland President Tom Ramage and board Chair Jim Ayers will provide remarks. Politicians, including state Sen. Mike Frerichs and state Rep. Chapin Rose, are expected to be on hand.
Once construction begins, bus routes will be altered and some access to buildings will be closed. Detailed information about the routes and construction zones are posted on http://www.parkland.edu.