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Built in the 1964, the College of Education opened its doors to a new generation of educational practice and scholarship. A unique icon of modernist architecture, the building established the College as a place of bold thinking and progressive ideas. Upon the arrival of Dean Mary Kalantzis in 2006, a partnership developed with the School of Architecture and the original architect, A. Richard Williams, to restore the physical home of the College as we undertake new strategic initiatives that will further enhance the College's position of national preeminence.
Continuing on the conceptions created by the students of Architecture Studio 571 in the fall of 2007 (two examples shown upper left), Dean Kalantzis commissioned Mr. Williams to refine the process of Re-Imagining the College of Education. While critically evaluating the work of the studio projects, he has started to incorporate his vision to enhance the College facility to make a difference in the lives of future educators. During a recent trip to Arizona, Dean Kalantzis and former Associate Dean of Advancement Joan Tousey met with Mr. Williams to continue the discussion. Still inspired by the building he designed over forty years ago, he has rendered new drawings which have been visually adapted by an Architecture graduate student (two examples shown upper right).
A recent gift of $1 million to the College of Education has been allocated to the building project. With the College's success thus far in the Brilliant Futures capital campaign, an emphasis on exclusive fundraising for the building is forecasted for 2009-2011.
The College of Education Building is a clear example of breakthrough thinking. There is absolutely nothing like it on the UI campus, nor comparable in the world as far as we know. It is going to be the physical symbol of breakthrough thinking that will lead us into the future. The College has plans for preeminence, particularly in four new, strategic, public initiatives:
- Center for Education in Small Urban Communities
- Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment
- Initiative on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Teaching and Learning
- The Ubiquitous Learning Institute: New Education Ecologies
- Forum on the Future of Public Education
Each one of these is dependent upon a facility that is a true public resource - a building that invites, inspires and encourages the world to come inside and join the debates. The College of Education is going to tie our intellectual/strategic future to the renewal of the Education. In short, the building is going to be the backbone of our strategic vision.
- To preserve historic architecture while creating functional work and learning spaces for students, staff and faculty.
- To renovate/expand existing space and create 80,000 square feet of new classroom, research, and meeting space.
- To realize a budget of $25 million from a combination of campus, College, private and corporate sources to fund project.
About the Original Architect
A. Richard Williams was born in 1914. He received a B.S. in architectural studies from the University of Illinois in 1936 and a M.S. in architectural studies from M.I.T. in 1939. Following his service in the United States Naval Reserves, Mr. Williams was professor of architecture at the University of Illinois from 1946-1970. Still active at age 93, Mr. Williams returned to campus three times in the fall of 2007 for academic consultation to the graduate students in Architecture Studio 571. The studio leader for the project was Professor Jeffrey Poss; faculty advisors were Liora Bresler and Tim Cain.