After being decommissioned for nearly two years, plans to initiate new construction on the Southside dormitories have been put in motion.
Illinois State University’s “Master Plan 2010-2030: Looking to the Future” has identified this site of the Southside dormitories as the location for a future Mennonite College of Nursing facility. The current project submitted to the state of Illinois is estimated at $27 million.
David Gill, director of facilities planning and construction management, mentioned several factors why the Mennonite College of Nursing facility is to be built. One of the reasons compared renovation costs and required code upgrades with the cost of a new building.
“ISU prepared a Facilities Condition Assessment in 2001 and evaluated the new requirements for installing sprinkler systems in high-rise residence halls in 2002,” Gill said. “At that time, it was determined that the capital investment in the South Campus Residence Hall complex would exceed its value. It was determined that even if improvements were made, it would still provide for inadequate living conditions for ISU student residents.”
The master planning of facilities is essential because of the long lead time for construction or purchase, Gill said. Planning takes into account installation of facilities, their high cost and long life, their impact on the college unit and the low cost of planning relative to the business benefits achieved.
A design has not been produced yet for the project for the Mennonite College of Nursing and no architects have been hired. However, it is anticipated the proposed facility will accommodate the Mennonite College of Nursing administration, staff, faculty and all of the laboratories and classrooms needed to function.
The Mennonite College of Nursing building is priority No. 2 on the ISU’s capital request list submitted to the state of Illinois.
“Based on these processes, we believe this is the best possible solution for ISU and the Mennonite College of Nursing,” Gill said. “All improvements at the university reinforce the positive signs about the health and strength of Illinois State University and its programs and would contribute to competitiveness in recruiting students.”
The entire nursing community is very excited about the possibility of a new building for the Mennonite College of Nursing, Mennonite College of Nursing dean Jane Krejci said.
The date for the demolition of the South Campus Residence Hall complex has not been determined yet. The proposal is still waiting approval from the state of Illinois. However, the estimated demolition duration is 120 days, once approved and planned.