September 09, 2005

SIUC chancellor unveils ten-year building plan Saluki Way proposal includes new football stadium

by Paula Davenport


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Chancellor Walter V. Wendler unveiled for the campus community today (Sept. 9) an ambitious plan to re-center Southern Illinois University Carbondale's campus around new academic buildings, a new football stadium and a revamped indoor- sports arena.

The "Saluki Way" project will create a new "core" of student services, academic and athletics facilities and show off the best of what SIUC has to offer, Wendler said in announcing the plan.

Perhaps the most ambitious capital project proposed for SIUC in at least three decades, it would unfold in stages over the course of 10 years.

An exact starting date has not been announced. Wendler said he recognizes the expense of such sweeping construction and remodeling — which could cost hundreds of millions — and said it would take private and public funds to complete.

"This is extremely important as we compete for students," he said. "It will dramatically refocus the center of our campus and will consolidate services and facilities now scattered throughout the University's landscape."

A new walkway will connect the old central portion of campus — a greenbelt of historic buildings and a fountain — with new construction, most of which would improve areas on the eastern edge of SIUC along U.S. Rte. 51

Stage one would take about six years, Wendler said.

The first stage would include:

  • Construction of a state-of-the-art general classroom building,
  • A brand new McAndrew Stadium with seats for 15,000, to be situated south of the current football field, built in 1938, and just east of the SIU Arena.
  • A renovated SIU Arena
  • Plant and Service Operations would move to the McLafferty Annex, which will be available to tenants after the books it's now storing are moved back into what will be an expanded, remodeled Morris Library. The power plant is the only part of the physical plant that will stay put.
  • A new field house where track and field meets could be held will go up to the south of the football complex.

Wendler also proposed construction of additional, modern academic and services buildings (to house financial aid, the Bursar's office and admissions offices), renovations to the SIU Arena and the men's baseball facilities and new parking areas.

The changes will give SIUC a fresh, updated "front door," that will welcome the campus community and visitors to a central location the University can be proud of and will replace athletic facilities, some of which are crumbling and outdated, said Wendler.

Enriching our campus is one of the goals of "Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment," the long-range plan the University is following as it nears its 150th anniversary in 2019.

(Caption: SIUC's "Saluki Way" proposal aims to establish a new campus core. This design concept, which includes a new football stadium and a walkway that stretches from SIUC's old campus to the new stadium, indicates what campus might look like in ten years. Orange indicates new academic buildings, blue indicates new parking areas and red represents athletics facilities.)