Facility Focus (Student Centers)

Southern Illinois University: Student Services Building

Southern Illinois University: Student Services Building


The student services Building at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, is an excellent example of architecture that effectively responds to the owner’s goals. Key owner goals that were met were to provide a new welcoming “front door” to the campus that is a one-stop student services shop that puts students first and fuses together an exterior design that blends with the existing adjacent 19th-century campus buildings and an interior design that is state-of-the-art.

Students are welcomed into the building by a four-story atrium space that is centrally located to 19 different student support services departments, including the offices of Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, Bursar, Graduate School, Transfer Student Services, University College, University Housing, Dean of Students, Student Legal Assistance and Rights, Career Services, Enrollment Management and Information Technology. The atrium features a 45-foot chandelier of color-changing LED lights, and vibrant banners hang form the ceiling 60 feet above. This energetic public space provides areas for interaction, student orientation, exhibitions and gathering. Warm and intimately scaled service areas are strategically positioned as “help desks” for student support.

The site offers exterior spaces that include a pergola structure with a central water feature at the main south entry, a large pavilion at the north courtyard area entry, and generous landscaping to provide for pedestrian-scaled gathering places.

The building was designed to LEED-certified requirements and provides features that help protect environmental resources, including the following: Daylight harvesting systems that monitor incoming light and adjust electric lighting to reduce electrical consumption, motion sensor office lighting, regenerative drive systems in elevators, synthetic slate roofing of 80 percent recycled materials with a 50-year life expectancy, and water-efficient landscaping.

Designed by White & Borgognoni Architects of Carbondale, the total building area is 129,263 gross square feet at a cost of $36,000,000. It was completed in October 2013.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .