HOUSTON, TX - Under the direction of Gary Cook, Campus Living Villages US's recently appointed VP of facilities, the global developer and operator of premium on-campus and campus-adjacent student housing is in the process of evaluating owned assets in North America as part of a three-year reinvestment program to upgrade facilities across 23 sites. Illini Tower at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign in Champaign, IL is the first Student Village in the US to benefit from this endeavor with a $1-million plan of property upgrades commencing on November 1, 2010. Completion is anticipated in spring 2011.
Source: Campus Living Villages
With 43 years of history on the University of Illinois campus, Illini Tower, a Private Certified Housing Facility, has drawn generations of families for its prime location and blend of residence hall community life with suite-style floor plans, ranging from open studios to spacious four-bedroom, two-bath units. Since acquiring the 725-bed property in June 2008, CLV US has introduced superior academic and social offerings through its Live, Learn, Grow residential life programming model, acclaimed dining at the 276-seat Piazza Fresca, plus a full-range of preferred amenities– all included in rent.
The refurbishment is primarily focused on creating common areas that are more conducive to the needs and desires of today's students, while also better supporting Live, Learn, Grow offerings. Highlights include:
A showcase for the contemporary design scheme that will be introduced throughout, juxtaposing earth tones with pops of color, the lobby will receive new wall coverings, paint palette, flooring and custom furnishings, including reception desk and "quick check" stand up email kiosks.
The heavily used first floor study lounge will incorporate modern furnishings that can be easily moved to partition and reconfigure the space for a variety of uses and group sizes as large as 75 people with multimedia and overhead capabilities for presentations.
Half of the common space/TV lounge on each of the 15 residential floors will be utilized as a media area featuring new furnishings and decor, a flat panel, wall-mounted TV and gaming offerings, while the other section will contain a series of booth-style study tables with individual flat panel TV monitors to facilitate and foster small group meetings and collaboration.
Taking the reputational strengths of Illini Tower's culinary offerings to the next level and providing another flex space for off-hour group gatherings, the dining room upgrade will include the addition of an outdoor lounge and terrace seating, movable cook top island for cooking demos and classes, overhead TV projector, plus new flooring, dining tables and chairs.
Currently outfitted with a pool table and flat-screen gaming, the lower lobby recreational area is being recreated as a modern theater room capable of accommodating up to 25 people for movies, lectures, club meetings, cable sporting events and other gatherings requiring a multi-media component. The existing classic and electronic game offerings will be enhanced and upgraded, and adjacent basement areas, including the elevator lobby, laundry room and fitness room, will be painted.
A pre phase of the project was recently completed with addition of property-wide WiFi, giving students a second option from the more secure, hard-wired Internet network, which was upgraded last year.