This spring, Roosevelt University will begin construction on a new campus building, to be located at 425 S. Wabash Ave. The structure will replace the Herman Crown Center, which previously housed a fitness facility shared by Roosevelt and Columbia. The new, mixed-use building will include classrooms, student services, residence halls, a workout space and a cafeteria, as well as retailers on the street level.
The new, 32-story building will create more space for the university, which is currently cramped and does not have much space available for growth, according to a Dec. 7 article in Roosevelt’s student newspaper, The Roosevelt Torch.
Construction of this new building will also be beneficial for the South Loop community and may further increase development in the area. More Roosevelt students will live on campus, creating more growth in the already bustling urban college campus. If this sort of development continues, the South Loop may turn into more of a multi-school city campus, blending different colleges and universities together on one mega-campus.
According to The Torch, Roosevelt is aiming to get the building LEED certified at the Silver level by the U.S. Green Building Council, representing environmentally sustainable design concepts. This is a commendable effort that deserves recognition.
The project will cost an estimated $118 million, according to a Jan. 13 Chicago Journal article, but despite the large price tag, Roosevelt is not increasing the tuition of current students to fund the project. This is good news for current students, some of whom will no longer attend the university when the building is completed. It isn’t fair for current students to pay for future projects that they will not get to utilize.
Roosevelt should work to make sure every aspect of the building is used to its full potential so the money it costs to build the structure isn’t a wasted investment. As long as it is put to good use, the building will be a welcome neighbor in the South Loop.