Two New Undergraduate Degrees, New Residence Hall Construction
The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)
approved a WIU request to offer a bachelor of fine arts (BFA)
degree in musical theatre and a bachelor of arts in African American
Studies. The IBHE also approved the construction of a new residence
hall on the former Bennett Hall site and improvements to existing
residential facilities. Western's Board of Trustees recommended
a proposal in June 2002 for the degrees in musical theatre and
African American Studies.
The BFA in musical theatre will be administered
by the department of theatre with cooperation for course offerings
between the departments of music and theatre, along with the dance
program in physical education. The degree is designed to prepare
students for careers as performers in the field or for placement
in a master's of fine arts degree program. The 137-semester-hour
curriculum will begin Fall 2003. Western will be the only public
university in the state to offer a BFA in musical theatre.
The bachelor of arts in African American
Studies is designed to prepare students for employment in a number
of career areas that benefit from an interdisciplinary expertise
such as journalism, social work, law enforcement and international
relations, as well as prepare select students for graduate and
professional schools. The 120-semester-hour program will begin
in Spring 2003.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved
Western's revised proposal to construct a $7.3 million residence
hall on the site of the former Bennett Hall. The project calls
for the construction of a 44,420-square-foot, four-story residence
hall, expanded from a previously approved 38,900-square-foot facility.
The new structure will feature 60 double and 60 single rooms,
four single specialty rooms (disability accessible and a resident
assistant apartment) for a total of 184 beds. Shared facilities
will include an entrance lobby, laundry area, lounge spaces and
general storage. The hall will be part of the Lincoln-Washington
The estimated $7.3 million cost of the new
facility includes the $438,000 demolition of Bennett Hall, $5.9
million for construction of the new building, $310,000 for site
improvements and $632,000 for architect and engineer fees. Construction
is scheduled to begin in Spring 2003 with an anticipated Fall
The IBHE also approved $3.4 million in improvements
to East Village (graduate and married student housing) and Bayliss-Henninger
halls. One-bedroom apartments in East Village will be converted
to 36 two-bedroom apartments to meet the increased demand for
married student and family housing. Student rooms in the Bayliss-Henninger
complex will be renovated, including the replacement of the original
built-in furniture, dating from1967.
Western's Board of Trustees approved in
November 2001 the construction and renovation projects and the
issuance of revenue bonds to fund the improvements.