Internal Demolition Begins on the Undergraduate Library Building

Empty interior of UGL during demolition
JP Goguen

Although it’s difficult to see from outside the now-closed Undergraduate Library (UGL), demolition has begun on the interior. These efforts are preparing the building to house the University Library’s archives and special collections.

University of Illinois Facilities and Services employees have been busy removing furniture, shelving, carpet, ceiling tile, lighting, and piping over the past few weeks. F&S’s efforts are keeping the project on schedule while the construction documents are finalized this semester. Bidding is expected to take place, and a final general contractor selected, in the spring semester. Additional construction demolition is expected to begin in June 2023.

Crane removes furniture from UGL
JP Goguen

“There’s been a great deal of progress with the demo, but much of that work is taking place below ground level and hidden from view,” said Tim Newman, Assistant Dean of Libraries for Facilities. “You may not be able to tell the progress if you’re just walking by the building.”

Shelving from the UGL was donated to the Evans Public Library in Vandalia, Illinois. Metal shelving that was not donated, almost 12,000 pounds, is being recycled. In addition, carpeting from the building is being recycled locally in Urbana. Materials pulled out and put into dumpsters for removal are also being sorted to recycle as much material as possible.

Most of the furniture from the Undergraduate Library is being relocated. About half of the seating and tables have already found a new home in the Main Library, the UGL’s neighbor directly to the west. Much of what remains is going to other units across campus, including Physics; Mechanical Science & Engineering; Psychology; Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES); campus ROTC units; and the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning.

Crane removes desk from UGL
JP Goguen

“As this will be a LEED certified project, we’re being as environmentally conscious as we can,” said Newman. “The Library is recycling and repurposing as much as possible.”

The new archives and special collections building is expected to be completed in 2024.