Western Illinois University
EEA has assisted with several projects on the Western Illinois University (WIU) campus, identifying challenges and providing unique solutions to ensure attractive, innovative spaces for students, faculty and staff.
Corbin Olson Residence Hall
In 2011, WIU conducted improvements on campus, including the creation of a new plaza on the exterior of a newly renovated residence hall. Because the cafeteria for this hall was to become a centralized space for other residences in the area, it was important this space provide easy access and meet ADA requirements while being inviting to all users. What initially seemed like a simple project brought to light grading and drainage complexities, including only stair access and non-ADA compliant ramps. At this time, EEA consultants were brought in to assess the challenges and determine how to provide solutions without compromising the goals of the project.
Drainage improvements were conducted on the site to allow for the installation of at-grade entrances, additionally avoiding potential flooding hazards. EEA also designed both subsurface and overland drainage improvements within a constrained site envelope and without disturbing the existing canopied entrance and adjacent roadway. With the new improvements and careful consideration of how to approach the project, the site was kept safe from flooding and students now have efficient access to a commonly used space. Civil cost for the project is estimated at $100,000.
In 2013, EEA assisted the University with improvements to the Student Union and other nearby areas on campus in an effort to continue to provide exceptional spaces for students and staff. Renovations addressed University goals of attracting more students, faculty and staff to a site that is inviting, updated and flexible, as well as increase awareness of the services offered.
As part of the project, EEA created designs for the realignment and reconstruction of existing site infrastructure to accommodate the new Student Union plaza. The aim of the project was to create a more welcoming and usable access to the new plaza, including incorporation of WIU’s new aesthetic standards for walks and ramps. Simultaneously, the new design kept interruption of pedestrian pathways and building services to a minimum.