Quad renovations begin this week

Renovations to the quad on the east side of campus will begin this week to activate the popular passageway and incorporate amenities that encourage student interaction.

The renovations, which are scheduled to be completed by fall, are part of the 2018 UIC Master Plan Update, which outlines projects that will change the physical infrastructure of campus to enhance the experiences of the UIC community.

While the quad is a popular place for students to gather, UIC administrators identified in the Master Plan that the space could be improved by incorporating strategies to activate the space and enhancing landscaping to promote sustainability, such as:  

  • A central grassy area for a variety of activities, such as seasonal programming, speakers and student activities, with 20-foot-wide sidewalks to allow for pedestrian movement around the perimeter.
  • A stage with ramp access and electric power available for events.
  • 18-inch-high benches around the central green space in addition to tables and additional seating throughout the space.
  • More shade trees, a rain garden and a large underground detention vault to divert stormwater.
  • Plants that are native species for enhanced sustainability and resiliency.

Students, faculty and staff provided input on the renovations, which led to significant improvements in the final design, such as adding tactile pavement to denote surface changes from pavement to grass; changing the specifications of soils and grass to match the Great Lawn at Millennium Park, which meets ADA accessibility guidelines; widening walkways from 15 to 20 feet; and reducing the slope of the green space by reducing the elevation change from 18 to 6 inches to make it easier to navigate. To ensure that ADA accessibility standards were met, UIC hired Chicago’s pre-eminent accessibility consultant, LCM Architects, to review the design for the renovations.

“We’ve met with numerous stakeholders across the campus about this project as the design was refined, and we feel we have a great project that will benefit the students,” said John Coronado, vice chancellor for administrative services.

For more information, on the vision for this project and others recommended in the Master Plan Update, visit the UIC Master Plan Update website.

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