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Year in Review 2014: Southwestern Illinois

Ittner Architects designs the architecture of education

    Ittner Architects, which describes itself as “architects of education,” designs for the entire educational market including corporate training facilities, health care, STEM, and schools ranging from early childhood to higher education. The company’s extensive education experience is attracting new clients and encouraging repeat clients, such as Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville.
    “I am proud to have an opportunity to work with Dr. Georgia Costello and the talented staff at Southwestern Illinois College to accomplish so many projects these past four years,” says Dennis Young, president and CEO of Ittner Architects.
    In 2013, the college’s Liberal Arts Complex was expanded by 75,901 square feet with the goal of serving more students, staff and on-campus conferences. New spaces include classrooms, a 100-seat auditorium, a media production studio, the KAMM Student Lounge, and a Starbucks coffee shop. A 5,400-square-foot covered roof terrace adds an exciting outdoor venue. In October 2014, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recognized the new build’s LEED gold certification, which makes it the first higher education facility in the region to receive this esteemed designation.
    “The project achieved gold certification through its efforts to recycle 75 percent of construction waste, institute 20 percent more efficient energy consumption, add a reflective roof, install a terrace that diverts rainwater into a cistern for irrigation, and reduce water usage,” says Young.
    Currently, Ittner Architects has completed preliminary design for a new campus quad. The quad will serve as a multifunctional space for both student and civic events. There will be a covered area to use as an outdoor amphitheater, eye-catching sculptures, landscaping, and widened sidewalks for service and emergency vehicle access.
    “The design of the campus quad is meant to merge function and recreation and add to the student experience in a self-sustained educational and social environment,” says Young.
    In late 2014, the governor announced that the State of Illinois would provide SWIC with $6.1 million to build an Early Childhood Education Center on campus. Ittner Architects is designing the 16,000-square-foot, one-story center that will be geared for infants through 4-year-olds. The center will include classrooms, observation rooms, and a multipurpose/playroom that will double as a safe room for severe weather and emergencies. A secure outdoor area will offer the children a hands-on environment with exploratory areas such as swinging bridges, a small sand creek, and climbing posts. The center will also serve as an educational space for students majoring in Early Childhood Education.