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Soil testing rig spotted at future site of Columbia College student center

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The school appears to be on track for the October groundbreaking of its Gensler-designed student center

Columbia College/Gensler

Construction crews are gearing up for another big project in the South Loop. In May, Columbia College revealed plans to erect a new five-story, 114,000 square-foot student center along South Wabash Avenue for its South Loop campus, and this week, a soil testing crew was seen at the future construction site. Daniel Schell of the blog Building Up Chicago spotted the equipment and snapped a photo.

While not a guaranteed sign of construction, it is generally a meaningful indicator that a new development is well on its way. However, in the May announcement, Columbia College reps stated that the higher ed institution is targeting an October groundbreaking and a late-2018 completion for the new Gensler-designed student center. Soil sampling at the site may suggest that the project is sticking to its timeline and an autumn groundbreaking.

According to Columbia College, the upcoming student center will be the first such facility in the institution’s 127-year history. Described as a flexible space for the college’s 8,000 students, the student center will feature educational offerings such as dance studios and maker labs and will also become a new space for events.

The site of the future Columbia College student center.
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