Capital Construction Projects 

Take a look around: some construction is continuing on campus even though health and safety efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 added new restrictions and hurdles.

F&S’ Capital Programs division coordinated with university administrators and unit or department leadership to determine which projects would continue through the response to COVID and which projects would need more time to re-group before continuing progress.

The Illinois Street Residence (ISR) dining facility, the country’s second-largest on a university campus, is complete, while the living quarters at Blaisdell and Wardall halls are seeing regular improvements, as well. Work at the Seibel Center for Design, Talbot Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Building, and Demirjian Park Stadium, among others, have also kept up with new health and safety protocols.

Capital Programs helps lead construction and project management for projects that have a total budget of $250,000 or more. Because of their scope and visibility, these capital projects help tell the story of the university, whether that’s in rehabbing culturally relevant buildings like those on the Main Quad or through new construction for athletic facilities for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

 “We are proud to have continued as many projects as possible during these challenging times,” said Ehab Kamarah, director of capital programs. “F&S plays an essential role in the day to day operations of the university, but also in large scale planning and management. Our professionals have been able to stay productive to meet the needs of the university, while also finding ways to adjust to a new normal of health and safety procedures on-site.”

Project Updates
Hydrosystems Laboratory


A “smart bridge” connecting the Hydrosystems Laboratory to the Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory will be instrumented with a variety of sensors to demonstrate for students and visitors the effects of various forces on built structures, both above and below ground. For more information visit:

Illinois Street Residence Hall Dining Facility


The ISR dining facility features nine micro restaurants and can seat nearly 1,400 people. See the University Housing website for more:

The $70 million Illinois Street Residence (ISR) Dining Facility project involves approximately 316,300 square feet in renovation and new construction that increases dining capacity, improves building efficiency and sustainability, and showcases a vibrant residential experience to students, parents, and guests who visit campus. Designed by Booth Hansen and the Baker Group, the construction was managed by Turner Construction.  It is the second largest dining hall of any university in the U.S.

The project provides best-in-class Dining and Residential Life programming for the UIUC Illinois Street Residences.

The design emphasizes open spaces and natural light, and large windows provide a glimpse into activity inside the building from the street. 

The existing building was constructed in 1962 and is approximately 106,000 square feet. The Dining infrastructure improvements facilitate campus connections through ISR by providing a new front door and eyes on Green Street, while grade changes create accessible pathways through the entire building. 

New dining spaces on the first level will increase seating from 750 to 1385, and the total capacity of the new dining hall makes it the second-largest student dining facility in the country.

The project was designed around nine micro-restaurants with a wide range of options and cuisine offerings, taking into consideration current eating trends and making sure to be all-inclusive, a guiding value here at the University of Illinois.

Housing invited the residents to come up with names for each of the dining locations, which were submitted and then voted on.

“This was a complex project,” said Clarence Odom, Associate Director for Project Management for UIUC.  “It had two bid packages and sixteen individual construction contracts delivered with multiple prime contractors.  We used an agency Construction Management delivery method lead by Turner Construction who did a great job keeping this project on track.  Even with the challenge of the COVID – 19 pandemic the project still managed to finish on time and under budget.”

The University of Illinois project not only renovates the dining facilities, but also incorporates the University Housing’s vision of “redefining home” for our students. The inclusive and collaborative Residence Life spaces will foster student interaction and community building with the “Main Street Student Commons” forming a social hub.

The Main Street Interior Walkway is a promenade-style "main street" interior walkway with garage doors opening into engaging community spaces such as a tea bar, an Innovations Living-Learning Community garage, multi-purpose rooms, a fitness center, meditation room, and a University Counseling Center satellite office.

“The Illinois Street Residences Dining and Student Center has renovated a 1960’s dining hall into a state-of-the-art, world class dining facility,” said Ted Christy, Associate Director of Planning for UIUC.  “This project is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification and is an outstanding example of adaptive re-use that aligns well with the goals of the Campus Master Plan and strategic initiatives of the university.”

Demirjian Park

Soccer Stadium

Upon its completion, Demirjian Park will feature two new soccer fields, one for competition and one for practice, and a renovation of the existing track and field complex. See the layout and matchday information at