In Focus: Should Neptune be renovated?

By Perspective staff

The Board of Trustees approved a design plan on Feb. 16 to renovate

Neptune Residence Hall by the fall 2017 semester.


Ian Tancun | Columnist

Neptune Hall should be updated with air conditioning in each room.

As a commuter, renovations to campus housing have zero impact on me. When I first heard about a multimillion dollar renovation to Neptune Hall, my first thought was that the money would be more useful addressing the parking situation on campus.

Simply put, the parking is completely inadequate. There are not enough spaces to accommodate students with a yellow parking permit. The amount of time I’ve wasted driving to various lots around campus, hoping to find a parking spot, is outrageous.

For the thousands of dollars we all shell out in tuition and other expenses each semester, it seems ludicrous that NIU has not done more to address this very real problem.

Having said that, in speaking to students who have lived in Neptune Hall, I was shocked to hear the rooms in the building do not have air conditioning.

When selecting an apartment in DeKalb, I had the option of renting a larger and cheaper apartment than I’m in now; the only catch being the larger apartment did not have an air conditioning unit in the bedroom.

I opted to pay more for less space to get an apartment with an air conditioning unit in the bedroom.

Neptune Hall currently has the highest vacancy rate, despite being the cheapest housing option on campus, according to a Feb. 20 Northern Star article. I can understand why.

While I would love to see the lousy parking situation improved at NIU, I think Neptune Hall should be renovated to include air conditioning in each room. It seems like a completely valid expense to me.

Maritza Huerta | Columnist

Neptune needs modern updates.

The Neptune Residence Hall is to be renovated by the start of the fall 2017 semester, according to a Feb. 20 Northern Star article, and would cost about $47 million. I lived in Neptune East as a freshman and understand why renovations are inherently needed. When I lived in Neptune East, I chose it because of its proximity to campus — it made me feel more connected and comfortable with the idea of college and independence. However, the living conditions weren’t the best in comparison to other residence halls.

We had no air conditioning or elevators to help bring up things on move-in day, and I had to travel up and down stairs with my laundry basket — leaving me feeling a little exposed. Living on the fourth floor was tough, but I got some daily exercise. Neptune has many vacancies that NIU seeks to fill with this project, according to the article, and I feel that it is because of this lack of resources to meet people’s most basic needs. Neptune’s renovation should focus on modern updates such as new doors and bathrooms, all purpose elevators and air conditioning to keep cool during those first few months of the school year.

Faith Mellenthin | Columnist

Neptune Residence Hall should be renovated, but only specific aspects. A full renovation is proving to be extremely expensive; the estimated cost is $47 million dollars, according to a Feb. 20 Northern Star article.

Having lived in Neptune, I think the structure of Neptune is still good, and I think the renovation cost could be best spent sprucing up individual areas. The bathrooms could be improved and possibly be designed in a more appealing way such as more secure shower stalls.

Additionally, adding air conditioning to even just one of the three buildings would be an improvement. In the same article, it is said that the estimated cost to add air conditioning everywhere is $20 million. I do not understand why the budget is $47 million if air conditioning is not already estimated into this. Otherwise, furniture and lobby areas all appear to be in a new condition. Neptune Central just had the floors redone and it looks almost brand new.

I miss living in Neptune, and Neptune Central is still one of my favorite places. I am glad for the renovation plans because it means that more students can enjoy Neptune and its grand location on campus. I only hope that a majority of the budget will go to bettering the living facilities. Just fixing air conditioning and bathroom areas will bring in many more students.