$55 million Everitt Lab construction project kicks off

$55 million Everitt Lab construction project kicks off

URBANA — Bulldozers have set up shop around Everitt Lab, where legendary Nobel Laureate John Bardeen taught the first-ever university course on semiconductors and transistors.

Soon, the building at the corner of Wright and Green streets will be headquarters for research on cancer diagnoses, high-tech artificial limbs and other biotechnology breakthroughs, in conjunction with the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

Everitt, former home of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is undergoing a $55 million makeover to become headquarters for the Department of Bioengineering.

UI officials officially kicked off the project Thursday.

"The researchers in this building will develop new technologies for early diagnosis of cancer and infectious diseases, develop new prosthesis for the elderly and the disabled and new brain machine interfaces, develop new therapeutic devices and technologies for individualized and personalized medicine — and overall improve the human condition and the quality of life, reduce costs and extend lives by another 50 years," said Professor Rashid Bashir, head of the department.

The Everitt project is supported by a $20 million gift from The Grainger Foundation as part of the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative.

Another $10 million was donated by Chicago-based Jump Trading, a financial technology firm, for the 6,500-square-foot Jump Simulation Center at Everitt, which will also be part of the new engineering-based medical school.

The 125,000 square feet of renovated space includes research labs, instructional labs, classrooms, computer labs and collaboration spaces for more than 220 faculty, graduate students, post-docs, and staff members — all housed in one building for the first time.