Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First apartments finished in major UIS Housing renovation

The University of Illinois Springfield is launching a $6.95 million housing makeover, which will renovate many of the older apartments on the east side of campus. The project will be paid for using auxiliary finance system funds and spread out over four semesters.

“This is our oldest area on campus, ranging in age from 1980 to 1992 and they’ve been heavily lived in, heavily utilized, very student friendly environments that have shown the wear and tear,” said John Ringle, UIS director of Housing and Residential Life.

The first phase of construction, the renovation of 8 apartments (32 beds) in Larkspur Court just finished and already students are starting to move in.

“We have completely gutted all of the cabinetry in the kitchen and added new appliances, new counter tops, and a new vinyl composite floor that look very residential,” said Ringle.

During the renovation, several amenities were added to the apartments, such as dish washers, to more closely match the townhouses of west campus. New doors were added to utility closets; closet bi-fold doors, which students often did not use, were removed; carpet was replaced in living rooms and bedrooms; and an accent color wall was added, which is different in every apartment. Additionally, bathroom cabinetry was replaced, new tub surrounds and shower stalls installed, and new bathroom fans added.

“We think the students are going to like it,” said Ringle.

All of the bedroom and living room furniture was refurbished by Illinois Correctional Industries as part of UIS’ sustainability initiative. Next summer the siding on Larkspur units will be replaced along with updated decking.

Each of the Larkspur apartments features 4 private bedrooms and 2 baths. Current housing residences were given the preference for signing up for the remodeled units in April. For others applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

Future renovation timetable:
  • Fall 2011: Renovation set to begin on two buildings in Clover Court, which were not renovated in 2004. They will be turned into townhouse units without decks and stairs.
  • Spring 2012: Bluebell Court apartment renovation set to begin.
  • Summer 2012: Remaining Larkspur Court apartment schedule to be renovated.
  • Fall 2012: Construction scheduled to finish with renovations of family housing and Sunflower Court.

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