Rockford Center site still not chosen

By Vickie Snow

Although NIU officials hoped to already have a site chosen for the NIU Rockford Center by today, officials are meeting today to talk about remaining choices.

The university site-selection advisory committee checked out the 16 proposed sites and narrowed them down to six, said memeber Tom Montiegel, vice president of development and university relations.

Montiegel and six other NIU officials make up the university site-selection advisory committee.

The committee will meet in Rockford with a community group there to give their “critique of six sites that scored higher than the balance,” Montiegel said.

The Rockford group includes Rockford Mayor Charles Box, Sen. Joyce Holmberg, D-Rockford, and area business leaders.

Montiegel said “we have to get through the meeting before we’ll know the next step.”

He said the committee might have to do “more homework” if the Rockford group does not agree with any of the site possibilities.

Committee member and assistant provost Lynne Waldeland said the next step might be for the site finalists to meet with the committee.

She said the final decision can be expected within the next few weeks. NIU President John La Tourette will make the final site choice after hearing the committee’s recommendation.

Then, Gov. James Thompson is expected to release the $500,000 for planning and designing the educational center.

At the center, NIU plans to offer graduate level courses in computer science, corporate communication, graduate engineering and technology, graduate nursing, public administration and allied health.

The programs will be geared toward place-bound, part-time students who aren’t offered such courses at local institutions.