Douglas Hall to be demolished

By Carlos Galvez

Before the fall semester, Douglas Hall will be demolished and students will have to look to other residence halls for housing.

The closing of Douglas Hall is a part of NIU President Doug Baker’s Master Plan Thesis, designed to create a new campus, said NIU spokesman Paul Palian.

Bill Nicklas, vice president of Public Safety and Community Relations, said Douglas’ furniture will be salvaged and the hall demolished prior to the 2014-2015 academic year and Lucinda Drive will be extended to provide easier access and navigation.

“Douglas Hall is one of the original 1960’s large residence halls,” Nicklas said. “It’s not inviting, and it’s old.”

Housing and Dining sent letters to the residents of Douglas Hall March 14 informing them of the closing of the hall. Starting 10 a.m. March 18, students who lived in Douglas were given another chance to choose a room in a different residence hall.

Palian said Douglas Hall’s closing is only one part of the change for NIU’s future.

“There are some things that can be done immediately and other things that are down the road, but Douglas Hall is the first step,” Palian said.

Palian said he also hopes people attend Bold Futures Workshops so they provide input on their opinions and ideas about changes around NIU.

Nicklas said students shouldn’t think of the hall closing as a dilemma but as an opportunity to look for more halls to live in and attend programs in the center of campus.

Angel Martinez, freshman pre-physical therapy major, said he isn’t too worried about the closing.

“I’m moving to New Hall and I’m worried about money, but I know financial aid will help,” Martinez said.

Douglas holds the lowest rates with $4,499 for a three-room bedroom, according to 2013-2014 rates. Neptune and Douglas are tied for the lowest rates of $4,937 for a double room. Rates for the 2014-2015 academic year show Neptune will have the lowest rate at $4,835 for a double room.

Laria Serrano, freshman political science major, said she chose Douglas because she didn’t prefer any other hall and it was cheap.

“I’m gonna miss the people here, but I knew eventually the building would close,” Serrano said.