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May 3, 2007

Governor Blagojevich announces U of I’s historic Lincoln Hall project will be “green”
Work on the campus structure will qualify for official national designation for energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design

URBANA – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the planned $66.4 million rehabilitation of the University of Illinois’ historic Lincoln Hall will be a model “green” project, and will be submitted for an official national designation of projects that place an emphasis on energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design.

The Lincoln Hall project will be submitted for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, which would place the project at the forefront of the national movement for sustainable energy practices.

“The University of Illinois is a national leader in alternative energy research with the new Institute for Genomic Biology, our joint research program with the University of California, Berkeley, and the Integrated Post-Harvest Processing Center now being built. The Lincoln Hall renovation is another way to conserve energy and show how we can be good stewards of the environment,” Gov. Blagojevich said.

LEED certification rates projects based on their energy and water use efficiency, indoor air quality, the use of recycled and local materials, design innovation, pollution reduction, erosion control, and the overall impact of the project on the surrounding environment. The Lincoln Hall project goals include the latest energy-saving climate control systems that would also improve indoor air quality; special insulation and window treatments to improve the building’s energy efficiency while preserving its historic character; lighting systems that would conserve energy and improve the classroom environment; plumbing fixtures that would reduce water usage; and other measures that will be specifically addressed during the design phase of the project. These planned upgrades would not only save energy but also help cut emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

The State of Illinois has released $3 million for planning the Lincoln Hall renovation, with the balance of state funds, $55.1 million, included in the Governor’s proposed FY 08 budget. The University of Illinois is contributing $8.3 million to the project.

Lincoln Hall was built in 1911 and has had no major improvements since the west half and theater were added in 1930. The planned $66.4 million construction project will reconfigure existing space for more classrooms and to meet current life safety codes. Instructional space will be concentrated on the first two floors and the backstage area of the theater, which has not been used for 25 years since the relocation of the Theater Department to the Krannert Center. The top two floors will be primarily faculty office space. The building will also receive upgrades to its electrical, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and computer network systems, as well as new flooring, ceilings and wall finishes.

“It is altogether fitting that we employ the best contemporary thinking in the renovation of an historic campus building honoring Abraham Lincoln, one of Illinois’ and the nation’s great leaders,” said B. Joseph White, president of the University of Illinois. “Lincoln valued clarity of thought and innovation, exactly the qualities that drive the leading-edge building processes and materials that will contribute to a healthy, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly future.”

The Lincoln Hall project will be overseen by the Capital Development Board (CDB), which manages all state-funded construction, rehabilitation and repair projects, in cooperation with the University of Illinois.

“The Lincoln Hall project will retain the historic character of the building, thus preserving the past while looking toward a ‘green’ future,” said CDB Executive Director Jan Grimes.

Gov. Blagojevich signed legislation in 2005 that requires CDB to spearhead the growth of “green” building methods throughout the state. The new law was sponsored by State Sen. John Cullerton of Chicago and State Rep. Dave Winters of Shirland. It requires CDB to identify state construction projects that can use “green” principles – some of these projects either planned or underway include the new Workforce Training Center at Heartland Community College in Bloomington-Normal; the Post-Harvest Processing Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Southern Illinois University – Carbondale Transportation Center; and the Performing Arts Center and Riverfront Campus at Western Illinois University. The legislation also requires CDB to organize “Green Building” workshops and form the Green Building Advisory Committee, both of which were accomplished in 2006.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their building’s performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development; water savings; energy efficiency; materials selection; and indoor environmental quality.


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