Students seek renovations to Lincoln Hall

By Logan Love

Students like Dan Wulff, sophomore accounting major and Lincoln Hall resident, want to see improvements in the 52-year-old residence hall.

Joe King, assistant director of media and public relations, said there are no improvements planned for Lincoln Hall at this time. Michael Stang, director of Housing and Dining, said nothing is planned.

The biggest problem for Wulff is the lack of an on-site dining facility.

“Douglas has DPD [Doug Pound Deli], New Hall has a dining hall, Stevenson has a dining hall, Gilbert’s going to have one and Neptune has one. Why shouldn’t Lincoln?” Wulff said. “We don’t have dining this year so we have to go to New Hall, so when it’s cold out it’s kind of an inconvenience.”

Wullf said with Grant and Gilbert being renovated, and new residence halls coming up, it would be good for the school to keep up the other residence halls.

“I would love to eat late at night and have a late-night Lincoln,” said freshman marketing major Jake Griffin. “It kind of stinks having to walk and bear through the tundra to go to New Residence Hall.”

Griffin said as a whole Lincoln doesn’t seem as nice as some of the other residence halls. He said there are broken door handles and outdated stairwells, among other issues..

“It’s definitely really hot in the beginning of the [school] year, and I’m only assuming how its going to get when spring actually hits and everything,” Griffin said.

Stang said renovations to Lincoln were completed sometime around 2000.

“Ten to 12 years ago we piloted a project to create suites on the residence hall floors,” Stang said. “Two floors were completed in the A Wing at that time.”

Stang said the suites were similar to those in Stevenson, where there are two two-person bedrooms on the end and a common space for those four students to share in between.

Stang said Lincoln Hall may see some changes, even if they aren’t renovations.

“Over the last several years Lincoln has been home to several of our living-learning communities, specifically the Health Professions House, Teacher Certification House and Business Careers House,” Stang said. “These communities are in the process of relocating to other halls, business to Grant C Tower, and the other two communities to Douglas.”

Griffin said he’d be getting his own apartment next year because he’s tired of life in the residence halls.

“I’d say we definitely do need renovations because even Douglas is in my opinion better than living here, and same with Neptune and some of the other residence halls that are the same price as this one,” Griffin said.

Josh Mammen, freshman business administration major, was disappointed when NIU closed its Lincoln Hall dining facilities. He said he chose his classes around Lincoln so he could eat there.

Stang said improvements could be forthcoming with NIU’s new president, Doug Baker.

“As for renovations, [I’m] not sure on the long-range plans,” Stang said. “I’m sure the new president will have some thoughts on the current state of our residence halls, and we’ll follow his direction on any future renovation or development.”

According to university archives, construction began on Lincoln Hall in December 1960. The cornerstone was laid on Oct. 21, 1961, and the new residence hall was first used a year later. The hall has four wings that house 250 students each. Lincoln Hall was the first residence hall on campus to feature telephones in every room. Lincoln Hall was the 23rd building built on campus and featured technological advancements, especially in food service.”