The Urban Politician
January 23rd, 2005, 11:01 PM
Sorry to start a thread about this, as I asked this before elsewhere, but I'm not sure if anyone saw this question.
What is going up on the east side of Halsted, north of Roosevelt, in the UIC campus. When I last visited the Chi 3 weeks ago I saw something U/C but because of angry traffic (and lots of honking) I didn't get a chance to slow down enough to see the renderings. Also, I don't see anything on UIC's website.
Does anybody know what this development is? Any renderings?
January 24th, 2005, 01:01 AM
I'm not some kind of UIC booster, but a google search quickly led me to this (I assume this is the construction you're asking about):
New rec center mixes leisure, health
By Sabryna Cornish
Construction for UIC’s new recreation center began last week – an ambitious project with a climbing wall, hot tub and indoor soccer field, aimed at attracting not only students and staff, but alumni and neighborhood residents.
The 155,000-square-foot, three-story facility will be located on Polk and Halsted streets, next to the Polk Street parking structure.
The recreation center in the Chicago Illini Union on the west side of campus is also undergoing major renovation and should be open in February.
Ray Clay, director of campus recreation, said surveys and focus groups were conducted among the UIC community before the new facility was designed by Ohio architects Moody and Nolan, Inc.
The new recreation center is expected to be complete in 16 to 18 months. It will cost about $34 million, funded by a $70 per semester increase in student fees approved by students in a spring 2002 referendum.
The referendum requires that the fee increase be delayed until the facility is complete. It will probably be instituted in fall 2006, Clay said.
The main entrance to the center on Polk Street will greet visitors with an open atrium-like entryway. The first floor will feature an area where students can sit and study, with a juice and coffee bar.
There will be a small game room with pingpong, foosball and a big screen television.
“It’s a socialization area,” Clay said.
A swimming area on the first floor will have three lap lanes for serious swimmers, a “lazy river” water current for floating in inner tubes, a water vortex, a fountain spray and hot tub spa.
The number of lap lanes was reduced based on information from surveys of pool use, Clay said.
“Students of today are kids who have grown up with pools like this,” he said.
“Their likes and needs are built on leisure activities.”
A 52-foot-tall climbing wall with four or five different routes will be located on the first floor, with a bouldering area about 12 feet tall that allows free climbing without harness.
Another first will be a room dedicated to spinning, an exercise that uses stationary bikes.
The second floor will consist mainly of a large multi-activity court that can accommodate indoor soccer, floor hockey, basketball, badminton and volleyball. It is large enough to be split into two basketball courts.
“With a large international population, we have lots of students who want to play soccer,” Clay said.
The third floor will have most of the cardio and strength equipment, including weight, elliptical, treadmill and stair machines.
An eighth-mile track and courts for racquetball, squash and badminton (a popular student activity right now, Clay said), will be housed on the third floor.
Clay estimates about 2,000 people a day can use the facility.
“Students are our main customers,” he said, but the facility will also offer memberships to faculty, staff, alumni and neighborhood residents.
Students will be able to use the facility free with i-card; membership fees have not been set for others, he said.
The facility will offer short-term babysitting while parents work out and there will be a family locker room.
Other perks include wireless Internet and e-mail stations throughout the facility.
A private workout room will be available for those who do not want to exercise in public because of religious or other issues, Clay said.
“It will give people an opportunity to take advantage of the recreation center when they otherwise might not,” he explained.
Multipurpose rooms throughout the facility will be used for classes and group activities.
“It’s going to be really nice when it’s finished,” Clay said.
The Urban Politician
January 24th, 2005, 03:44 AM
Looks like it exceeded my expectations. I thought it was going to be a shitty parking garage or something. Wow what a great development. It should definitely enhance the neighborhood around it..