IL State University Cardinal Court Civil Design IL State University Cardinal Court Civil Design

IL State University Cardinal Court


Illinois State University needed to replace the aging and out dated Cardinal Court housing complex of 14 buildings and 192 beds with buildings and a bed count that met needs of today's students. The university needed to complete the housing complex replacement including all utilities on a tight time line with limited impact on its operations. The existing housing complex had all exterior entrances, centralized laundry, and limited parking. The existing site was approximately 14 acres with over 40 foot of elevation change that had limited previous development efforts on the site. In addition, the location of the access points to the Town of Normal's street network were not pedestrian-friendly or conducive to vehicles exiting the site.


Illinois State University retained American Campus Communities (ACC) to act as the developer for the new student housing complex. ACC selected Shive-Hattery to provide land surveying, site entitlement, site design, and construction phase services. The new student house complex consisted of five housing buildings with a total of 892 beds and a student community/fitness center. The new facility reflected the growing trend in student housing toward student apartments and student activities. To lessen the impact of the development, which more than doubled the amount of impervious area, pervious concrete pavement was incorporated to filter the first flush of storm water and to provide for ground water recharge. Additional site water was routed through natural attenuation basins to slow velocity and control release rates. Native plantings were used to minimize long term maintenance requirements. For pedestrian safety and safe traffic flow to and from the site, a traffic signal was installed that included many firsts for the town of Normal including Microwave Detection of vehicles, Signal Preemption for emergency vehicles, and Accessible Pedestrian Signals.


The new Cardinal Court is a model of student housing that balances needs, cost and amenities. Even before it opened the facility had a waiting list with 200 names. By using the site topographic challenges to its advantage, the amount of storm sewer used on the site was reduced. The end result was a storm water management system that provides for filtering of the storm water and detention volume in excess of code, and infiltration areas for ground water recharge. The storm sewer system outlets to a branch of Sugar Creek and with the detention basin and infiltration areas, the organic and hydrocarbon loading headed to the creek was reduced, improving downstream water quality. Pedestrian access to and from the site along with the use of mass transit has limited the amount of vehicle traffic on campus and on site so that the 696 parking spaces on site are often many more than are required for the occupants of the facility.
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