1980-81: Basic Sciences Building Delivered “More Modern and Sophisticated” Facilities
Forty years ago, Chicago Medical School and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies moved forty miles to North Chicago where they joined the School of Related Health Sciences — now College of Health Professions — programs that were already being held in adjacent buildings at the Downey Veteran Administration Hospital, which is now the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.
The modern, four-story Basic Sciences Building, as it is known in 2021, was built to house administrative offices, basic science departments, research and teaching laboratories, classrooms, dining facilities, and a Learning Resource Center and library. An auditorium that could seat 900 people utilizing two rotating pods on either side of the main auditorium also welcomed incoming classes for the two schools in the fall of 1980.
“The 350,000 square-foot facility at the North Chicago campus enabled the university to increase graduate student enrollment as well as to provide them with more modern and sophisticated laboratory experience.”
The 1980–81 school year ended with an unprecedented commencement celebration on June 11. It was held on the new, 92-acre campus under a large, striped tent, while the awards ceremony took place in the school’s auditorium.
The 350,000-square-foot facility at the North Chicago campus enabled the university “to increase graduate student enrollment as well as to provide them with more modern and sophisticated laboratory experience,” according to the 1980–81 Year in Review. The same could be said for the recent development of the new Innovation and Research Park, which marked its ribbon-cutting in January 2021. With many graduate students, research staff and faculty moving their work into the Innovation and Research Park, the university has the opportunity to redevelop parts of the Basic Sciences Building to create classroom and learning spaces for new students and faculty.