Quadrangle to be renovated

By Elizabeth M. Behland

The Wirtz Quadrangle, located between Wirtz Hall and the University Health Service, will be renovated this summer with a budget of more than $158,000.

NIU Physical Plant Director John Harrod said “observation of the site and its utilization indicated a need for it (the site) to be reviewed,” and NIU discovered site renovations are necessary.

Eddie Williams, NIU vice president for finance and planning, said the project has “two major components.”

Williams said the first phase in the project renovations will be to “resurface the driveway that loops from Wirtz Hall to the health center.” He said the driveway is in “bad shape” because water that sits on the driveway has caused it to deteriorate, resulting in large potholes.

The driveway will be resurfaced and new curbs and sewers will be installed, Williams said.

The second phase of the project will consist of “new landscaping of the area,” Williams said. The landscaping will include new sidewalks, grassy areas, bushes and benches, he said.

Harrod said sidewalks will be included in the renovations “so people don’t have to cut through parking lots to get through the quadrangle.”

The project also will incorporate lighting for “both pedestrian and vehicular traffic,” he said.

Williams said the renovations are being funded as a Build Illinois project. The driveway component of the project was approved by Gov. James Thompson in fiscal year 1986 with a budget of $80,000 and the quadrangle landscaping was approved in FY87 with a budget of $78,300, he said. Although the two components were approved separately, they will be completed as a joint project, Williams said.

The project “will have an impact on parking, but there will be some replacement spaces” available he said.

The parking issue was discussed “extensively” in the project’s preliminary planning stages, Williams said. He said, “There might be a loss of a few spaces, but I think it’s just about even.”

Harrod said, “The university has added a number of parking spaces this fall which will compensate even if all of the quadrangle spaces were removed.”

He said he is unsure of the number of spaces that might be removed and those that might be added. If any spaces are added in the quadrangle area, the NIU employees and faculty who work in the surrounding buildings will be allowed to park there.

NIU hopes to start the project no later than the end of the school year in May.

“There is no good time to begin” the renovations, he said. However, Williams said summer construction should keep inconveniences and disruptions at a minimum level.

Since the renovations are scheduled to begin this summer, NIU will try to finish the project before the fall 1989 classes begin, he said.