Loyola University Chicago

Information Commons

Information Commons Timeline

Spring 2005: Loyola University contracts with Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) to design a new library building to be located on the lakefront between Cudahy Library and Madonna della Strada Chapel. President Michael Garanzini's vision is for a beautiful library facility which will address the need for quality study space and access to the latest technology, and serve as an academic center for the Lakeshore campus.

Summer 2005: SCB provides architectural renderings of a modern, three-story structure with a glass central core and two stone "bookends" sympathetic to the art deco style of Cudahy Library and the chapel.  Drawings include floor plans of a very open, flexible facility with views of Lake Michigan to the east and the Lakeshore campus to the west.  The architects will seek LEED certification at the Silver Level for the technologically-advanced, energy-efficient building. Devon Patterson of SCB is lead architect.

August 2005: Robert Seal, Dean of Libraries-elect, proposes that the building be designated the Information Commons (IC) with a focus on technology, collaborative work areas, community spaces such as a café, and a super help desk staffed by librarians and computer specialists from Information Technology Services (ITS).

October 1, 2005: Mr. Seal begins work at Loyola University Chicago.

October/November 2005: Visits are made to the Information Commons of three institutions: Indiana University, Marquette University and the University of Georgia. A planning committee of Library and ITS staff begin to define the types of space, services and technology to be included in the building. A fourth floor is added to the plans to provide space for class, lectures and special functions.

December 2005: Dean Seal makes a well-received presentation on the Information Commons concept and the proposed building project to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees. The IC program philosophy is based on the 3 C's of Collaboration, Connectivity and Community, aimed at meeting the information needs of Loyola's undergraduates.

March 2006: Dean Seal formally proposes to the Board of Trustees that the University proceed with the 67,000 square-foot facility. The Board unanimously approves the project.

Spring 2006: Work continues on refining floor plans, space usage and building features. Furniture and equipment are selected, computer technology is specified and the interior finishes are selected.

June-July 2006: Site preparation begins with the removal of trees, lamp posts and sidewalks.  Wayne Sliwa of Loyola's Facilities Department is named Project Manager.

Fall 2006: Foundation work begins under the supervision of Pepper Construction, General Contractor for the project.

November 2006: First signs of the building skeleton appear. Infrastructure work continues with preparation for water, sewer, electrical, data and telecommunications.

Spring 2007: Building structure takes shape including floors and vaulted ceilings.

May-June 2007: Pre-cast concrete pieces are installed creating the building's "bookends" where classrooms and other functions are to be located.

July 2007: East side glass installation begins. Environmental systems equipment are placed on the roof. 

August 2007: Leslie M. Haas begins work as Director of the Information Commons. Interior work begins including electrical, dry wall and the installation of raised flooring.

September 2007: President Garanzini announces a $10 million naming gift from local businessman Richard J. Klarchek. Work begins on the west side glass wall and the IC roof is completed.

Fall 2007: Construction continues including creating the café and the link to Cudahy Library. The public sidewalk along Lake Michigan is put in place.

December 7, 2007: Dedication ceremonies take place during the Board of Trustees meeting.

January 14, 2008: The Information Commons opens to Loyola students, faculty and staff.