Progress Update: Columbia College Student Center

It’s time to check in with Pepper Construction on their progress in the South Loop. That’s where they’re erecting the Gensler-designed Columbia College Student Center at 8th Street and Wabash Avenue. The 114,000-square-foot facility is slated for opening in 2019.

Foundation work is in full swing at the Columbia College Student Center

The Columbia College Student Center at 8th Street and Wabash Avenue in the South Loop is a reality, as crews from Pepper Construction continue to work on the foundation. The Gensler design, when finished will provide 114,000 square feet of space for students over five levels.

Caisson work has begun at the Columbia College Student Center

Columbia College Student Center March 2018

This rendering from Gensler shows the sweet 5-story Columbia College Student Center just getting started in the South Loop.

We can confirm there won’t be a tower crane, but that won’t make the glass-encased Columbia College Student Center any less fun to watch. Case Foundation is out at the corner of Wabash and 8th in the South Loop as we speak, drilling caissons into the soil, and that work never requires a tower crane anyway.

57 rock caissons are precisely what Case is on the case for, according to a post from them back in February. After that, Pepper Construction starts sending the five-story, Gensler-designed facility vertical. Columbia College plans to have their new center open before 2018 closes.

The Columbia College Student Center is underway

Columbia College Student Center

Pepper Construction began site prep last week at the new Columbia College Student Center in the South Loop.

A permit issued Friday sets the stage for work to begin on the Columbia College Student Center at Wabash Avenue and 8th Street in the South Loop. That would explain why a crew from Pepper Construction was on site last week, installing sidewalk protection and getting the lot prepped for activity.

Monday, Case Foundation posted on its Facebook page that they would begin drilling 57 rock caissons in March. With a little cooperative weather, Columbia plans to open the Gensler-designed student center late this year.

Despite the relatively wide footprint, at five stories, it’s not likely the new facility will require use of a tower crane, but we’ve reached out to Pepper to find out for sure. We should know soon.

Coming Attractions: Soil sampling rig takes over Columbia College lot

Columbia College Student Center

A soil-sampling rig stands at the ready on the site of the future Columbia College Student Center.

Maybe there were some gardens there. I remember some pieces of art too, including a funky-looking airplane with a mean face that hung from a pole. But it looks like the small lot at Wabash Avenue and 8th Street in the South Loop is on its way to becoming the new Columbia College Student Center.

There’s a soil-sampling rig on the site now, tasting the dirt to make sure it’s ready to be dug into and built upon. And on that very spot will be the 5-story, 114,000-square-foot, Gensler-designed center. Work should get underway soon, as Columbia College plans to have work completed in time to open the student center before 2018 closes.