Board decides if house worth cost

By Vickie Snow

SPRINGFIELD_ Money—that’s what NIU wants.

The Board of Regents will decide today if the Arndt house at Lincoln Highway and Normal road is worth the $192,800 NIU wants to use for remodeling.

However, regents questioned the cost-effectiveness of the plan.

“I want to see what they are going to do with what they’re asking for,” said Milton McClure, Finance and Facilities Committee chairman. McClure asked for a detailed cost list for the Arndt house project.

He said he has no objections to renovating the house since it must be done before the University Resources for Women can move into the three-level building.

However, “it’s an awful lot of money for a relatively small building,” McClure said.

One of the biggest expenses will be constructing a steel-enclosed, $40,000 stairway necessary under fire regulations, NIU President John La Tourette said.

The board will give its decision on the Arndt house project today before it can proceed to seek bids.

McClure also questioned NIU’s proposal to add 45,000 square feet to the student center.

The student center is a building that “has not been breaking even for a number of years,” he said.

The addition would give more space to all student organizations and place all counseling-related services in one spot.

The addition also would provide relief for “critical space needs” instead of reorganizing the center, using Gilbert Hall or making a separate building, said Barbara Henley, NIU vice president of Student Affairs.

Henley said the addition will “promote student development and enhance student life.”

Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves also did not approve of the choice. “I hope we’re not locking ourselves in place with the decision on location,” he said.

McClure also is worried about creating more parking problems near the student center.

The services of Career Planning and Placement, Student Counseling and Development and Cooperative Education would be moved to the center, along with many of the more than 150 student organizations, Henley said.

NIU will determine the financial feasibility of the addition and give a report to the board no later than July, she said.

The board governs NIU, Illinois State University in Normal and Sangamon State University in Springfield.