The student life center at East-West University in Chicago, Illinois, is just one of the many student housing projects that we here at Madison Construction have had the pleasure of managing. Since this particular project is such a great example of our team’s construction management skills in the student housing niche, however, we wanted to spend a little time today looking at this project in more depth.
The East-West University student life center in Chicago, Illinois, is a project that Madison Construction undertook for East-West University. Built in 2013 in collaboration with Holabird & Root Architects, this 17 story project included 110 individual units and truly brings to life the idea of a mixed-use project build.
The first seven floors of the East-West student life center incorporate non-residential space and include the following:
• 500 Seat Auditorium
• Academic and extracurricular facilities
• Retail shops
• Student wellness center
• Library & resource center
• Student labs
• Administrative offices
• Common area spaces
• Basketball Court & Fitness Centers
There were a number of unique build qualities with this project, but perhaps the one that stands out the most is the vertical challenges faced by working in such a busy and crowded urban area. One of the highlights that we were able to incorporate into this build as a result of this unique build space, however, was a vertical student quad designed to facilitate student interaction and to provide a central location for relaxation and socialization. This vertical quad also serves a uniting factor between each of the floors of the building solving the problem of division between floors which is sometimes prevalent in such unique and limited build spaces.
Floors 8 through 16 of the building is dedicated to student housing and include 240 beds that were cast in place. Common spaces on each of these floors each overlook the street for a prime view, although this does not take away from the view of each of the rooms. Student rooms are of average dormitory size, however making the best use of natural light and strategically placing furnishings, each room resembles a student living space and not a prison cell like the dormitories of many other universities.
The very top floor of the building is dedicated solely to a student lounge room, a board room, and a terrace. These large areas are ideal for multiple uses for students and working students and the terrace provides a unique area for an outdoor experience despite being smack in the center of a busy city.
Multi-Use student living spaces are becoming increasingly popular with project managers who are looking to build new student living accommodations or rebuild older student housing units. While certainly more functional and necessary in smaller urban spaces like Chicago, these types of buildings are also ideal for student life anywhere because they create a safer student environment, they promote productivity, and they facilitate a sense of community. Why is it so important to do everything that we can to promote a sense of community by building these types of projects? Because in college-aged teens socialization can be difficult, but pressure and stress are also a huge problem. By creating a sense of community, we are also creating a sense of awareness of each other and promoting a student welfare and support network without forcing it upon the students living there.
If you’re looking for assistance with your student life construction project or student housing project, Madison Construction can help. To find out how we can help you to bring your upcoming project to life, just give us a call today at 708-535-7716.