Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education

Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education

140 student veterans use the center's services each semester

The first of its kind on a U.S. campus, the center provides transitional living facilities and support services to prepare veterans with disabilities to live independently while pursuing their educational and career aspirations.

Location
Urbana, Illinois
Scope of Services
Programming
Planning
Interior Design
Architecture
Universal Design
Certification

LEED Gold Registered

Size
32,000 SF

Construction Type
New

Special Recognition
Chicago Tribune, feature
Military Advance Education, feature
Falcons Landing Military Life Plan Community Blog, feature
College Planning & Management, feature
Student Housing Business, feature

The University embraced a universal design approach in developing an innovative program and facility that integrates veterans with disabilities into academic and civilian life on campus. The program supports health and life skills training, peer mentorship, academic tutoring, psychological and career counseling, and employment services.

Expressed in brick, stone, and metal panels, the exterior is designed for compatibility with the predominant campus architecture. Inside, warm colors and wood accents create home-like spaces infused with natural light. LCM’s design departed from a medical and clinical model by thoughtfully integrating and refining accessible details to improve functionality while maintaining high aesthetic standards. The result is a welcoming and inclusive building with inconspicuous accessibility features that all people use in the same dignified way.

Veteran Center Is Front and Center on Campus
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“Often on campuses these services are in the basement of student union buildings. It is now changing and this building had a role in that. Other universities look to us and what we have done on our campus."
– William Goodman, Associate Dean for Administration, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign