Parkland College History

See also our slideshow of historic images

Downtown temporary  Parkland campus
First Day of Registration, September 1967

Photo shows the first Student Center, located at

134 W. Church in downtown Champaign.  The building

has  since housed a number of restaurants.
Photo from the Parkland College Archives. Reproduction is not permitted.

Until Parkland College's permanent campus opened in the Fall of 1973, classes were held in downtown Champaign at a temporary site. The first semester, Fall 1967, the line for registration extended out the door, as 1,338 students registered for classes. These students paid $4.50 per credit hour for tuition. One year later Parkland College graduated 20 students who had completed one-year certificates in career programs.
Twenty different sites were proposed for the location of Parkland's permanent campus. Because of its central location on the district map, the present site on Bradley Avenue in Champaign, IL was selected for the permanent campus.

Ernest Kump, the architect of the campus, was from a firm based in Palo Alto, California. His original design was intended to accomodate 5,000 full-time students. Kump referred to his design as an "educational village" and recommended subdued lighting to give the feeling of a living room. In 1979, Parkland College was featured in an exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art to highlight outstanding architectural designs.

Parkland  Campus Architect, Ernest Kump
Parkland College Architect, E. J. Kump
December 2, 1967

Photo from the Parkland College Archives. Reproduction is not permitted.
Parkland Construction  1971
Publicity photo, 1971
Photo from the Parkland College Archives. Reproduction is not permitted.
Groundbreaking for the permanent campus began in July 1970 and Parkland's permanent campus officially opened three years later in Fall of 1973. Later additions to the campus included the Physical Education Building in 1976, playing fields in 1980, the South Building in 1983, the A Wing in 1984, and Parkland's Theatre and the William M. Staerkel Planetarium in 1987.
Additional photos and materials relating to the history of Parland College are located in the Parkland College Archives.

graphic only
Parkland College Library • 2400 West Bradley Avenue • Champaign, IL 61821 • 217/351-2200 • 800/346-8089
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