University of Illinois System

April 2024 Newsletter

Posted on 05/02/2024

Capital Programs and Utility Services Welcome Real Estate Services

Capital Programs and Utility Services are excited to combine operations with Real Estate Services, effective May 1. Real Estate Services oversees all real estate functions for the System including leasing, acquisitions, property sales, easements, licensing and more. In addition, when it is determined that a public-private partnership (P3) is the ideal delivery method for construction, Real Estate Services works closely with developers and university users alike to deliver high quality spaces that meet programmatic needs.

We would like to wish Bruce Walden, Senior Director of Real Estate Planning and Services, a wonderful and fulfilling retirement and appreciate the countless contributions he made to the University of Illinois System.

Kahua Update

We recently completed Kahua Pilot project training with a small group of identified Capital staff and external users and have entered the pilot phase where this group has begun working strictly in Kahua with their dedicated projects. The Kahua project team is offering office hours to work through their questions and concerns as they work in the new system.

In the coming weeks, we will also be conducting a survey for pilot users to provide feedback about communication, training, the Kahua website, etc. Our goal is to come out of pilot well prepared for a successful and efficient deployment to the rest of the Kahua users later this year.

Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) Updates

The FCA is a System-led comprehensive building assessment for UIUC, UIC and UIS that will identify current deficiencies and building systems in need of future repair or replacement. CannonDesign is performing the assessments and field-visits began in late September. Upon the engagement's completion, expected in late 2024, information will be maintained in an interactive database. The initial assessment plan and amendments covers more than 26.3 million square feet of space across the System (UIUC: ~15.8M, UIC: ~10M, UIS: ~0.5M). Each university has provided CannonDesign with extensive information to help them complete their assessments, and to provide them with issues or deficiencies known or identified by university facility managers.

Field work assessments completed by CannonDesign through April total approximately 16.3M square feet across the System (UIUC: ~9.5M, UIC: ~6.6M, UIS: ~0.2M). CannonDesign data processing/estimating/prioritizing and university reviews in progress for some of these completed field work assessments.

Delegated Authority Limits

At its March 2024 meeting, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved increased delegated authority levels for capital actions. See the table below for a summary of the changes.

Delegated Authority Limits

* Please notify UOCP if you have construction contracts valued between $2.5 million and $5 million – while official BOT approval is no longer required, there are mandatory reporting requirements that UOCP must adhere to.

University of Illinois System: Capital Spend by Year, 2019 - 2023

Project Highlight – Discovery Partners Institute (DPI)

Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), part of the University of Illinois System, is the first project to break ground at The 78, a planned innovation district along the Chicago River, and will signal the beginning of a transformation, not only for the City of Chicago but for DPI as well. DPI’s mission is to be an engine of equitable economic development and a magnet for the most ambitious tech talent in the world.

Since the project was awarded to the design team (Jacobs as Architect of Record and OMA as Design Architect), we have worked closely with the Capital Development Board,the Office of Capital Programs and each of the three universities: UIC, UIC, and UIUC.

Aerial View

In the initial programming phase, the team engaged in a series of project precedent and campus visits. At UIUC, we engaged in meetings with department leaders such as Nancy Amato and Computer Science Department professors, and tours of the Campus Instructional Building, Business Instructional Facility, and Siebel Center for Design. At UIC, we hosted workshops with Peter Pfanner and TJ Augustine on innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration, and with Kendal Parker, Stacey Sutton, and Dr. Phyllis Hayes on the importance of social justice and community-focused spaces, and then participated in tours of the Jane Addams Hull-House with Dean Rebecca Rugg, and of the UIC Innovation Center and Art & Architecture Building. The team also held a series of stakeholder input subject area workshops with leaders across the system to establish the priorities for the new DPI building; focusing on how current facilities are used, and how the new building can best engage the community. These workshops ranged on topics from Community and Social Equity to Arts & Humanities, VR/AR/XR, Educational Space, Online Studios, Labs, Medical / Health, Engineering Labs, and Business Start-ups / Ventures. Through these campus tours and stakeholder workshops, the team established five primary principles:

  1. Establish Kinship
  2. Visualize the Journey
  3. Amplify Agility
  4. Celebrate the Process
  5. Share for Success

These principles directly led to the refinement of the building programs; multi-purpose spaces that are flexible across different user groups, the selection of simple, non-precious finish materials, like plywood, to encourage hackability and experimentation, and the organization of the typical building floorplan to include a variety of program types with transparency in and around enclosed programs to allow people to consider how they fit into the building and their experience within.

Experimental Lab Rendering

The DPI headquarters’ multi-directional form is impartial to any one direction, maximizing the potential to create connections to neighborhoods on all “sides” of the building, in direct response to stakeholder feedback to ensure that the building feels welcoming and inviting. The base of the building reinforces this openness by populating the ground floor with spaces shared with the public including a café, auditorium, and multipurpose rooms.

Throughout this process, we have worked closely with key personnel from the Office of Capital Programs, Mike Wilson and Ebone White, as well as our CDB project manager, Emilija Zgonjanin, to develop the building program and refine the architectural design. Through regular weekly meetings, the design team has collaborated with the DPI, System Office, and CDB.

View of the Atrium