Bradley Gets the Green Light on $100 Million Engineering, Business Complex

Demolition of Jobst & Baker Halls, Construction Starts this Summer

PEORIA, Ill. -

Expansion on the campus of Bradley University, as the school gets the green light at Tuesday night's city council meeting for demolition of the current business and engineering colleges with the plans to build a new $100 million complex.


Baker and Jobst halls will come down and that new building will take its place. When it's complete, it will be the largest building on Bradley's campus.

The university says it's excited to make this investment in its students and Peoria.

"We've got leaky roofs, we got bad heating and air conditioning, but more importantly the labs have not been designed for what we need to do today." Dean of the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology, Lex Akers, said.

Soon, the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology, housed in Jobst Hall, and the Foster College of Business in Baker Hall, will be no more, making way for a new space under one roof.

"What we want this building to be designed when you walk in you're going to see collaboration almost everywhere you stand." Dean of the Foster College of Business, Darrell Radson, said.

"We're tearing down silos at Bradley and working closely together, engineering students will get the experience of a great engineering education and learn to work collectively in teams, cooperatively in teams, to do the innovation in the business space also." Akers explained.

Baker hall will be torn down this summer and classes will be spread throughout campus and in Campustown. The engineering college will stay up for two years, while 80% of the new building is built, then it will be torn down to finish the project.

"We say here at Bradley, students get their first job by their major, by their skills, but they get promoted and their career flourishes by what we teach them beyond their major and that is how to innovate, how to collaborate, how to understand the larger aspect of the business beyond their own area." Radson said.

The university says this new space is also designed for another type of collaboration, that of the community.

"Bradley is as strong as the community is and the community is as strong as Bradley is so we work together, we're in this together, and the more we can make this community more prominent and it's better for Bradley because students will want to be here." Radson said.

Councilwoman Beth Jensen and other city leaders are sharing their excitement, saying this is a great investment for the neighborhood and for Peoria as a whole, adding that it will bring more jobs and money to the area.


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