Primera’s team had the pleasure of virtually joining in a celebration and ribbon-cutting last week for our Illinois State University (ISU) Multicultural Center project. The $4.4-million renovation created space on campus dedicated to providing support for students and strengthening the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The project was especially important for our team as we share the same commitment to DEI here at Primera.
Primera’s team provided professional engineering services for the 16,200 square-foot renovation of an existing one-story campus building. The new Multicultural Center provides a large and readily adaptable space for programming and services and features student organization office spaces, event and meeting rooms, flexible presentation space, a full kitchen, a meditation room, gathering spaces, administrative offices, and satellite student support services. Input from multiple campus stakeholders and information on multicultural centers at other campuses helped to shape the vision for ISU’s center and ensured the Center met their needs.
“This project was small, but mighty” explains Deborah Steimel-Clair, Primera’s Lighting Studio Manager. “It includes state-of-the-art lighting and controls which will provide the University with significant energy savings. It is functional, aesthetic, and very flexible for a space that needs flexibility. We’re excited to see the University’s diverse community enjoy this space for years to come,” she continued.
The scope of work included mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, lighting, structural, architectural, and civil engineering services. As design progressed, the need to add an expansion to the building for adequate space for mechanical equipment was identified, and Primera’s team was able to deliver the full design for this addition. Even though this need was identified late in the project, Primera expedited the design to meet the extremely accelerated design and construction schedule.
“It’s a special day, and honestly, it’s an emotional day,” Center Director Dr. Christa Platt, M.S. ’09, Ph.D. ’17 said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It’s a special day for us, the collective, the campus community, not just for me and my colleague Kwame (Patterson), who worked for the last year and a half together to make this venture be what it is, but it’s for the campus community, a moment in history that is special for us.”
The new Multicultural Center is one of four projects Primera has completed at the Bloomington, Illinois campus since 2019.