Master Plan illustrations distribited to assembly

By Stephanie Bradley and Katrina Kelly

Color illustrations of the proposed Master Plan, a timeline of possible improvements for the NIU campus, were distributed to and discussed by Faculty Assembly members Wednesday.

In July 1986, Eddie Williams, vice president for finance and planning, received approval from the Board of Regents to develop the plan, which includes a proposed student life building and beautification of the campus. Williams said the purpose of the plan is “to provide assurances of documentation in terms of space needs here.”

Projects scheduled for development in the next four years include a $945,000 Faraday Hall addition, improvements to the Martin Luther King Memorial Commons and Carroll Avenue and repairs of the Holmes Student Center tower.

Williams cited two “serious and difficult questions” that will affect implementation of the plan. These are decreasing NIU enrollments and a “lower recognition of higher education (funding) in the state legislature,” he said.

The ability to produce an “accurate snapshot” of NIU’s campus needs was integral in the development of the plan, Williams said. He said he has attempted to include representation of all university bodies on the Master Plan Committee.

When asked if the diagrams displayed at Wednesday’s meeting were the final campus layout, Williams said “nothing is etched in stone.”

He stated that even if the Illinois legislature gave NIU all of the state’s capital funds, NIU still would fall short of the amount needed for the plan.

“The challenge is to find alternative ways to convince the government that NIU should be (financially) supported,” he said. Obtaining funds from private sources would be another way to secure the money.

Many buildings in the plan might be built on sites that are currently parking lots. Williams said the number of parking spaces will not be affected by the plan.

The plan also includes the proposed resurfacing of Lucinda Avenue and the improvement of the Wirtz Quadrangle.

The plan is realistic, Williams said, “not some arbitrary, pie-in-the-sky document.”