Tri States Public Radio Staff
High priority project for state funds
Mon June 4, 2012
WIU Performing Arts Center is on Track for 2015 Opening
Western Illinois University's new performing arts center should be ready for its scheduled opening in the fall of 2015.
Project Manager Ted Renner says the project should go out for contractor bids in late fall. Construction could begin in January. Renner is confident the project will receive state funding to stay on schedule.
He says, “This is the number one item for the state as far as budgeted components for a university to be able to build and or construct. I have heard that so I would assume it's going to be, you, know, something that is going to happen very soon.”
The price tag is nearly $72 million.
Renner says the location on Western Avenue will be very convenient for students, guests and faculty.
He says, “Having that fine arts and communication quad this would be, essentially, the 'crown jewel' that sits in the middle of that, that would support those people, support all those functions, allow everybody to do the things that they need to do.”
Renner admits parking might be limited at the site. He says the administration is aware of the problem and is addressing it.
WIU's administration addressed the energy consumption by requiring the design meet the Silver Certification standards set out by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Charles Smith of Cannon Design says it will do that though a combination of energy-saving technologies. The building will use low-emissivity windows. They limit the amount of sunlight in the building during the summer but also hold in heat during the winter. The roof will be white to disappate heat during the summer.
Smith also says the building will have “cradle to grave” sustainability. The construction process will require contractors to recycle discarded materials. He says the choice of materials for the building took their impact on the environment into consideration.