Governors State Trustees Approve Contracts for University’s First On-Campus Housing

GSU housing entry
Artist rendering of Prairie Place at GSU: Entry. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Governors State University took a major step toward on-campus housing in February when the Board of Trustees approved construction bids for the university’s first-ever residential complex.

At their February 15 Board meeting, trustees unanimously approved $17,225,930 in construction contracts for the first phase of the housing complex, Prairie Place. The complex, which will have both apartment and suite style housing, will be ready for occupancy in summer, 2014.

Construction contracts were awarded to:

  • General contractor – Carlson Brothers, Inc., of Joliet, $10,400,782.
  • Plumbing – Best Plumbing, Inc., of Crestwood, $1,052,000.
  • Electric – Linear Electric, Inc., of Orland Park, $3,089,148.
  • Ventilation – Dodson Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, of Pontiac, $796,000.
  • Heating – F.E. Moran, Inc., of Northbrook, $1,888,000

Construction of Prairie Place is expected to commence in mid-March. A formal groundbreaking ceremony will take place April 5.

The project is financed through proceeds from the sale of $20 million in revenue bonds completed in April, 2012.

Executive Vice President Gebeyehu Ejigu said GSU’s architect of record, FGM Architects, completed a full review of the submitted bids, including the bidder’s responsiveness to identified qualifications, requirements for the project, the selection of alternates, and the bid amounts. FGM recommended the lowest and most responsive bidder in each category, Dr. Ejigu said.

Phase 1 of Prairie Place will contain 77 units and 296 beds. All units will be fully furnished. Students will have their own bed, desk, chair, and wardrobe-dresser unit. Apartment units will have fully-equipped kitchens. Cable and Internet services will be available throughout Prairie Place. Additional community space will include floor lounges, study rooms, a classroom, a laundry room, vending machines, a service desk and community kitchens.

Trained resident assistants will live on each floor to provide student support and assistance. Social, recreational, and informal educational activities are planned to enhance the living-learning experience for GSU’s first on-campus residents.

More information on Prairie Place is available at

The approval of the construction bids follows other important steps in planning for the residential complex. The Board of Trustees approved a concept study for on-campus housing in December, 2011. The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the project last February and, in April, GSU sold revenue bonds to finance the design, site development, and construction of the residential complex. The university, following statutes for public procurement and contracting, solicited bids for the five contractors last December.

Governors State University, the only public university in the Chicago Southland region, serves more than 7,000 students in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs. GSU has the most affordable undergraduate tuition in Illinois and is nationally recognized for its innovative Dual Degree Program, providing a quality, seamless pathway from community college to university graduation. In 2014, GSU will become a full-service, four-year university, admitting its first freshman class and introducing apartment and suite style housing.

GSU housing courtyard
Artist rendering of Prairie Place at GSU: Courtyard. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Governors State University is located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, Illinois.