Street light renovations to brighten up NIU

By Sean Thomas

NIU will be a brighter place as early as next semester when the switch is flipped for a $34,000 modern lighting system.

The new system comes in response to a survey conducted by NIU President John La Tourette’s office and the Student Association. The survey results clearly demonstrate a need for remodeling NIU’s antiquated lighting system.

Eddie Williams, vice-president for Finance and Planning, said the light renovation project has been a high priority on the administration’s university remodeling agenda.

“This has been an issue that many people have expressed interest in taking care of,” Williams said.

Williams said special attention will be paid to the east campus, where outdated series gas lights pose particular problems. The series lights work like Christmas tree lights. If one is broke, none of them work.

“The lights of east campus are set up in such a way that when one light goes out, they all go out,” Williams said. The new system will be designed with an eye toward cost-effectiveness.

The renovations will be done in two phases, with phase one having an expected spring completion date.

Specificatons for phase two will be deliberated once bidding and contracting for phase one is finished.

Money for the new lights will come from the Build Illinois Fund. The fund, part of a Gov. James Thompson initiative, dishes out money for this kind of remodeling.

Because the money will come from capital development funds, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Capital Development Board. The board will will take bids and assign contracts because the money is outside of NIU’s control.