Contest lets students submit plans for campus improvement

students seated at a picnic table outside SCEThe Office of the Campus Architect is encouraging students to ask not what your campus can do for you, but what can you do for your campus?

In the spirit of this question, the Office of the Campus Architect is hosting the Campus Grounds Student Design Contest, in which they plan to actively engage current UIC students in improving campus grounds.

The contest allows students to develop proposals of projects that fall within a $75,000 budget and will impact the quality of student life. Project proposals can include improvements to campus landscape, exterior furniture, lighting and more.

Jonathan Fair, assistant director of campus architecture, believes the initiative can make a tremendous impact on campus.

“From our experience, our students are super ambitious here on campus. I really feel like the sky is the limit in terms of the things we’re going to get back. Maybe some more of a mural or art piece, or something as simple as an outdoor sheltered space to hang out with friends,” Fair said.

Michael Landek, vice chancellor for administrative services, is excited to launch the initiative.

“By leveraging the input of students, we anticipate ideas that will further energize the campus and its community, while forging a new dialogue between students, administration and their ability to affect change on campus,” Landek said.

All students can enter the contest through April 6.

A panel of staff, faculty and students will judge submissions on criteria such as campus impact, cost, how feasible the project is and how it can be maintained. Once the winner is picked, construction will begin over the summer, with the goal of unveiling the new addition this fall.

“I’m really hoping students get together across various disciplines. That’s where some of our most creative and complex solutions come from,” Fair said. “We want it to be as accessible to design students as it is from the school of business.”

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