The Todd M. Beamer Student Center on the campus of Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., was named for a 1991 graduate who became a hero when he led a group of passengers aboard the ill-fated United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. His words, “Let's roll,” are inscribed on a wall sculpture at the south entrance to the student center.
A 33,000-square-foot buildout, which includes a new bakery/fresh-food venue and the re-creation of a student hangout known as “The Stupe,” is at the heart of the $10.2 million student center. A new recreation/game room, meeting rooms, campus convenience store, prayer chapel, fireside lounge and a centralized campus post office also are part of the buildout area. Two main focal points of the student center are the Todd M. Beamer Memorial Sculpture and the Legacy Wall.
The exterior components involved extensive landscaping to enhance pedestrian access and create a virtual oasis for campus life. In four months, the old Chase Street in front of the new student center was turned into a beautiful pedestrian plaza with a grand entrance, enhanced with subtle designs in the brick pavers. Another significant part of the student center project was the renovation of the 28,000-square-foot Coray Alumni Gym.
The architect for this project is Sigalos & Associates, Ltd. (Elmhurst, Ill.).