Quad to reopen this week
After facing early construction delays, supply chain issues and a variety of unforeseen challenges, the east campus Quad area will reopen later this week. The Quad renovations were part of the 2018 UIC Master Plan Update and include a variety of amenities that encourage student interaction, provide enhanced experiences for the UIC community, and promote sustainability.
“We are pleased to reopen this important and highly valued campus space for use by the entire UIC community,” said John Coronado, vice chancellor for administrative services.
Renovations that have been completed include:
- Installation of 20-foot-wide sidewalks.
- Creation of a central green space in which programming, featured speakers and a variety of student activities can take place.
- Construction of a stage with ramp access and electric power for events.
- Installation of a stormwater detention tank that can hold over 60,000 gallons of diverted water.
- Planting of shade trees and native species plants.
- Installation of a variety of seating options.
Supply chain issues continue to impact the project’s completion. Wood slats to finish the 18-inch-high benches around the central green space and additional furniture will be added in late November. Temporary lighting will remain in place until new light poles arrive in the spring. Fencing will remain around the center and southern portions of the Quad until the grass takes root and the remaining furniture is installed.
The project team was able to find creative workarounds for some supply chain issues that kept construction moving. For example, when they learned of the long lead time to obtain a prefabricated stormwater detention tank, plans were changed, and the tank was built onsite.
The project team also encountered a host of unknown issues once site excavation began. This included the discovery of previously unknown electrical lines that impeded installation of the stormwater tank, an abandoned brick-lined sewer vault that was partially filled with water, deteriorated city water lines that leaked, and massive 1964-era concrete foundations that once held up granite slabs for former campus elevated walkways.
“Finding the concrete foundations from the elevated walkways during excavation was a major surprise,” Coronado said. “Because they were in the way of the stormwater catch basins, they had to be removed to complete the project. But despite the delays caused by all the unforeseen issues that we experienced, the quad is now ready to serve the needs of the UIC community for years to come in a more interactive, engaging and sustainable way.”