$812K needed for roof in Grant


South lobby of Grant Towers.

By Kelly Bauer

Editor’s Note: This Northern Star incorrectly reported a budget of $850,000 has been requested to repair the Grant Central roof. The budget requested is $812,000.

The Grant Central roof is in “urgent” need of replacement to the tune of $850,000.

Bill Nicklas, vice president of Operations and Community Relations, said the two-story space between the North and South towers of Grant Hall is “basically uninhabitable” due to leaks when it rains.

“Whenever it rains the water comes through, and it’s not just dripping,” Nicklas said. “There’s not much difference between being outside and inside is what I’m being told.”

The roof was slated to be repaired during 2012-13 renovations to the building until that project was put on hold, but repairs are now necessary to prevent disruption to the Tutoring Center and First Year Composition Classrooms, student services that moved into Grant Hall South over the summer, according to the agenda from a Thursday Finance, Facilities and Operations Committee meeting.

NIU sought to “stretch the life” of the roof by patching individual problem areas while the Grant renovations were put on hold, Nicklas said. A harsh winter and warm weather afterward heated and cracked seams on the roof, creating the leaks and more immediate need for replacement.

“It’s like having a tear — now it’s letting water in and there’s no easy way to the fill the cracks,” Nicklas said.

Some leaks are under the surface of the roofing, making it difficult for NIU to repair them. Repairmen will have to “tear it all up,” Nicklas said.

The Board of Trustees Finance, Facilities and Operations Committee unanimously approved the request for an $850,000 budget for the roof replacement, and the request will go to the Board of Trustees for final approval at its Sept. 18 meeting.