Demolition to start soon on Forbes Hall

Demolition to start soon on Forbes Hall

CHAMPAIGN — Demolition will start soon on Forbes Hall, one of the five remaining dorms in the old "Six Pack" complex, to pave the way for a third new residence hall in the Ikenberry Commons housing redevelopment.

Construction on Residence Hall No. 3 is scheduled to start next spring at the corner of First Street and Gregory Drive, the northwest corner of the commons. The site has been fenced off and demolition will get underway within the next two weeks, officials said Thursday.

The $80 million project was approved in March 2012 and calls for a four-story residence hall with 497 beds, as well as a new stormwater detention system in the west playing fields across First Street.

Initially that work included new artificial turf on the eastern half of the playing fields, but trustees last week increased the project budget by $3.17 million to extend the new turf to the western half as well so the fields can be used year-round. The Division of Campus Recreation agreed to pay for the full installation of the turf, and its contribution will cover contingency funds and professional fees associated with the work, officials said.

The $80 million price tag also includes demolition of Taft-Van Doren Halls at 1213 S. Fourth St., which eventually will be replaced by new residence halls as part of the massive 14-year Ikenberry Commons redevelopment.

Named in honor of former UI President Stanley Ikenberry, the commons will include eight new residence halls to replace the Six Pack (Forbes, Garner, Hopkins, Scott, Snyder and Weston halls) and the Taft-Van Doren halls. Overall capacity will remain about the same, approximately 3,500 students.

The complex is bounded by Gregory Drive, Peabody Drive, Fourth Street and First Street in Champaign. The redevelopment is intended to transform the site into a neighborhood-like setting, relocating parking and adding covered bike storage and landscaping features.

Garner Hall was demolished last summer. The Student Dining and Residential Programs Building and Nugent Hall have been completed, and a six-story residence hall, Bousfield Hall, will open in August at the corner of First and Peabody Drive. It's named for Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield, the first African-American woman to graduate from the Urbana campus.

"We've got substantial completion," said Kirsten Ruby, assistant director of housing for marketing. "The company is working on final finishes and fixtures. We don't have the keys yet."

An open house is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Residence Hall No. 3 is scheduled to be completed by August 2016. Its design has been reconfigured from an "L" into a "T" to provide some green space along Gregory Drive, Ruby said.

The project is being funded with revenue bonds repaid by student housing fees. Turner Construction Co. of Chicago was hired for $3.47 million, and FGM Architects of Oak Brook has a $3.74 million contract for design and construction administration.

Ikenberry Commons is being developed to green building standards, Ruby said.

Bousfield Hall was recently certified LEED Gold under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, the second-highest rating.

And very little of Forbes Hall will wind up in the landfill, Ruby said. Furniture was given to other state agencies or nonprofits or offered for auction. Fixtures will be saved for replacements in other halls. Rebar, electrical wiring, glass and other materials will be reused or recycled.

"That happened with Garner, too," she said. "We're not just tearing down a building, throwing it away and building a sustainable building. All parts of the project are sustainable."


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