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UIC News Tips
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff

March 14, 2000 Contact: Bryant Payne (312) 355-2523; bpayne2@uic.edu


Mayors from across the nation will convene at the University of Illinois at Chicago beginning March 23 as UIC's College of Architecture and the Arts hosts "Schools as Catalysts for Community Development," a three-day national conference of the Mayors' Institute on City Design, recognizing schools as vital community assets.

The conference comes amid a building boom in schools across the country. Elected officials, educators and design experts together will explore school design as an integral component of urban renewal.

"Instead of building schools that can be used only for education, cities now are constructing and rehabilitating buildings to serve multiple community roles," said program director Sharon Haar, UIC assistant professor of architecture. "UIC is the ideal location for this conference - Chicago is a leading city in school building and reform, and the College of Architecture and the Arts has a committed faculty and student body partnering with the city and other public agencies, community organizations, and a wide variety of design firms."

The Mayors' Institute on City Design is an ongoing National Endowment for the Arts initiative administered by the American Architectural Foundation in association with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In six yearly sessions, mayors from various cities join together with designers to re-envision their communities. In the first 14 years of the institute, mayors across the country have converted the knowledge gained at these conferences into concrete projects for the redesign of their cities.

Daniel Snarr, mayor of Murray City, Utah, and a participant in the upcoming institute said, "Murray School District has the opportunity to design a building that makes a statement for Murray City as a whole. This will probably be the last public building built on State Street in Murray City. Although it is a high school, the building and landscape surrounding it should be an attractive and recognizable landmark."

The conference will consist of closed-door sessions in which the mayors will present case studies on topics such as new and historical schools in downtown centers, preservation and reuse of historic structure, school reuse in suburban settings, and the design of new school buildings and the place of education in mixed-use development.

Two events are open to the public:

  • March 24, 6 p.m. — A keynote architectural address by Julie Eizenberg, principal in the firm Koening Eizenberg Architecture. Location: Graham Foundation, 4 West Burton Place.
  • March 25, 3 to 6 p.m. — A panel discussion about school design and broader urban design in metropolitan Chicago. Location: Molecular Biology Research Building Auditorium, UIC, 900 South Ashland.

"In bringing this important initiative to the UIC community and the Chicago metropolitan region, the National Endowment for the Arts is recognizing the important work that already has been done in Chicago in school reform and institution building," Haar said. "The conference enables us to bring expertise in architectural and urban design to this initiative."

The conference is co-sponsored by the School of Architecture in UIC's College of Architecture and the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, American Architecture Foundation and U.S. Conference of Mayors. Other partners in this event include the Office of the Mayor of Chicago, Chicago Public Library, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Gallery 37, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Fannie Mae Foundation, and Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.

- UIC -


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