Fall 2021 saw the grand opening of two highly anticipated projects at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: the Siebel Center for Design and the Campus Instructional Facility. Both of these state-of-the-art learning spaces feature enhanced teaching technologies and provide an environment where students and faculty alike are encouraged to innovate, create, and explore.
Siebel Center for Design
Established by a $25 million lead gift from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, the Siebel Center for Design is the only center of its kind in the country. Filled with innovative learning spaces, multipurpose classrooms on the first level are available for any campus academic unit to reserve, as well as a collaboration studio for course instruction, small group meetings, and other collaborative endeavors. The center also includes a multimedia lab and a café that offers striking outside views to the east.
For hands-on learning experiences, a variety of tools and supplies are available at a checkout window on the lower level. In a large shop area supervised by a shop manager, visitors can access a bevy of equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, a large-format printer, and more.
Campus Instructional Facility
The Campus Instructional Facility is the result of a $75 million public-private partnership project that has added 23 instructional classrooms and 2,400 seats designed for active learning. Every undergraduate college and 36 different departments will have at least one class in this facility, which covers 124,000 square feet. The collaborative space features IFLEX classrooms, mobile seating, access to enhanced technologies, and more to facilitate enhanced learning experiences.
The building is also anticipated to be designated as LEED Platinum, the highest certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The east and west sides of the building feature windows made of smart glass technology that controls incoming light. Originally developed by an Illinois research team, this glass is used in only two buildings in the state of Illinois. The Student Sustainability Committee provided funding to help build the geothermal energy system, including 40 boreholes installed on the Bardeen Quad. These measures will supply the building with the equivalent of almost 65 percent of the total building energy demand, helping to conserve energy and reduce costs in the long term.