Stevens Building Renovation Project Quick Facts 

Original building

  • Opened 1958
  • 68,266 square feet
  • Housed Department of Anthropology and arts programs including the School of Theatre and Dance
  • Cornerstone was laid November 15, 1958


  • Project completion target date – Spring 2018
  • 106,433 square feet (55.6% increase of total square footage)
  • Will house Department of Anthropology and School of Theatre and Dance
  • Cost of renovation project: $23.7 million (includes expenses for two state budget related construction shut downs and re-starts) funded by Illinois Capital Development Board

Renovation timeline

Started – July 2014

First statewide CDB project shutdown – July 2015

State approval to restart project – October 2016

Second statewide CDB project shutdown – July 2017

State approval to restart project – August 2017

Building reopened for classes/performances - August 2018

New features

  • Black Box Theatre – 200+ seat state-of-the-art theater venue for teaching and performances. Provides students the most real-world experience for what they will encounter in professional settings after graduation.
  • Expanded scene shop
  • Lecture Hall – Capacity is 330 with the ability to configure the space into three smaller lecture areas of 110 seats each.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified design and construction.


  • Enhanced building circulation and departmental consideration for better workflow
  • Improved classroom and lab space for anthropology
  • Dedicated bone storage for anthropology
  • Increased theater and dance movement lab to a two-story space
  • Three dedicated classrooms for anthropology
  • Two dedicated classrooms for theater and dance
  • All five classrooms will be equipped with state of the art “smart” classroom technology
  • Dramatically improved accessibility and installation of a new elevator

State funded artwork

  • CDB proposal process solicited submissions from artists to develop an anchor for proposed sculpture garden as part of the Stevens Building renovation project
  • Artists submitting proposals were instructed to create a sculpture that incorporated concepts of theater, dance and anthropology to recognize each of the academic areas in the building
  • Chicago-based artist Boyan Marionv’s “The Tribesman, The Hero and Light” was selected