Funds still frozen for Faraday II plans

By Jean Dobrzynski

Plans for the Faraday II building were frozen after Gov. Jim Edgar’s budget slash, and it looks like a thaw in the near future is out of the question.

NIU officials held a ground-breaking ceremony for the new building in May 1990, even though construction was not expected to begin until August or September.

But then Edgar sent word from Springfield that he was forced to hold back the $20 million NIU was counting on to get the project rolling.

Patricia Perkins, assistant to vice president of Finance and Planning, said despite hopes for a release of the funds, nothing new is in the making.

“Absolutely nothing is going on with the project,” she said. “I would love to get it going again as a New Year’s present, but with all the cutbacks it doesn’t look good. I think Gov. Edgar just realized what a problem the state is in.”

Patricia Hewitt, associate vice president of Business and Operations, said there has been no indication of the project getting started again in the near future.

“We keep asking what’s going on, but the governor hasn’t released the money yet,” she said.

Hewitt said as soon as the funding is released, the bids for a construction company will be reopened.

“As soon as we get the dollars we requested, we will be ready to put the bids out again,” she said.

Chicago-based Holabird and Root, NIU’s architectural firm,

still will handle the project, as the building’s design already is complete.

Faraday II will be a four-story structure located west of Faraday Hall and south of Davis Hall. It will double the present building’s space. A walkway will connect the two buildings, and a new patio will join the mezzanines.