Monday, March 05, 2012

UIS east campus housing renovation update

Construction is now underway on the second and third phases of a multi-million dollar housing renovation project at the University of Illinois Springfield. Workers are transforming older apartments in Clover Court, on the east side of campus, into newly remodeled townhouse units.

“It will be a townhouse style living environment with all the amenities our current townhouses have,” said John Ringle, director of UIS Housing & Residential Life. “The townhouses will have more of a residential feel with brand new carpet and painted accent walls.”

The east side apartments were built between 1980 and 1992, making them the oldest units on campus. The buildings have been heavily lived in over the years and are showing signs of wear and tear.

In Clover Court, crews have removed the stairs from the outside of the buildings. The staircases are now located inside each townhouse, which features a central kitchen, living room and private bedrooms. Each townhouse has an upstairs and downstairs bathroom, new appliances, and walk-in closets.

“We hope that people consider this as a viable option for where they want to live next year,” said Ringle.

The remodeling effort is taking place in four phases over a span of four semesters. Phase one, which included a remodel of 32 units in Larkspur Court was completed in 2011. Phase two involves the work at Clover Court, while phase three involves renovations at Bluebell Court. The final phase will consist of remodeling additional units in Larkspur Court and Sunflower Court over the summer.

Unlike the previous brown wood exterior, each of the townhouse buildings will now be outfitted with a different color of vinyl siding.

“This will make them more colorful and also easier for residents and visitors to distinguish between the different townhouses,” said Ringle.

A section of Clover Court will remain apartment style to house families and graduate students. A portion of Bluebell Court is being set aside as the new location for the International House, where students from different cultures can live under one roof. Another Bluebell Court building will also accommodate the first-ever graduate student housing community at UIS as well.

The overall project is being paid for through auxiliary finance system funds. All work is scheduled to be complete by the fall semester of 2012.

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