CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Campus administrators, faculty and students will break ground at noon Wednesday (Oct. 13) for the construction of the Asian American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The center, being built at 1210 W. Nevada St. in Urbana, is due to be completed and open by next fall.
The facility will offer services and programs for Asian-American students, and will be dedicated to fostering appreciation within the campus community for the Asian-American experience and the variety of Asian-American cultures, according to David Chih (pronounced CHEE), the assistant dean of students for Asian Pacific American Affairs.
"I think it's important for the campus as a whole to learn more about the vast diversity of people of Asian descent, and this center will also support those students in affirming and exploring their ethnic identity," Chih said.
The facility is being built next to the Asian American Studies building. They will be physically connected and share a conference room. "It's an effort to try to join the forces and energies of the academic studies program and the student affairs cultural center," Chih said.
The center will be on a block with several other ethnic studies programs and cultural centers.
The building will have two floors, a full basement, and include a living room, full kitchen, conference rooms, staff offices and storage space for student organizations.
Speakers at the groundbreaking will include several campus administrators, along with student leaders Tina Wei and James Lien, co-directors of the Asian Pacific American Coalition.