NIU receives $15 million for $23 million sustainability center


Sean Reed

The building location for the Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability, northwest of the Convocation Center. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Bridgette Fox, Written Managing Editor

DeKALB – NIU has received $15 million from the Illinois government to fund the university’s $23 million sustainability center.

The center will be approximately 30,000 square feet located on the west side of campus, northwest of the Convocation Center. NIU’s sustainability center will be a research facility geared toward water resources, environmental change and food innovation.

“Under a best-case scenario, construction would begin as soon as late next year, with a center grand opening in 2026,” said Gerald Blazey, chair of the Illinois Innovation Network Council and vice president of NIU’s Research and Innovation Partnerships in an NIU press release.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday the official release of $37 million to be distributed between five public universities: Northern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the University of Illinois Springfield.

NIU’s Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability is a part of the Illinois Innovation Network, an initiative by public Illinois universities meant to stimulate economic growth and innovation.