Hard Hats Required: Campus construction intends to wake up ‘tired’ parts of NIU

By Jasmine Willett and Kyla gardner

During the spring semester, students may have been awakened by the sounds of drilling and forced to reroute a familiar way to class because of closed-off areas on campus. Although these changes might have been an inconvenience, they are an effort to improve the campus of NIU.

“There [have] been a number of spring-cleaning [projects] since late spring semester,” said Brad Hoey of NIU Media Relations & Internal Communications. “A lot of the work is also just routine maintenance that is done every summer. We want to enhance the look of campus grounds.”

According to NIU Today, teams from Finance and Facilities identified the areas of campus that could be improved for a low cost and have a high impact for visitors.

“Parts of campus were looking a little tired,” said NIU President John Peters in the article.

A main building targeted for renovation was the Founders Memorial Library. Improvements in this area include landscaping and fixing smaller problems like concrete brick work, cracks in sidewalks and general wear and tear. It is really just to keep that area looking up to date and make the grounds smoother, Hoey said.

Hoey said Davis Hall is undergoing exterior construction on the east side of the building.

Cole Hall, the site of the Feb. 14, 2008 shooting, has been closed since gunman Stephen Kazmierczak shot and killed 5 students and left 19 injured. Renovation of Cole Hall began in January. According to the article, crews will replace the mostly brick façade with an expanse of glass, steel and stone. Changes on the inside of Cole Hall will be just as dramatic. The goal is to have all of the work done for Cole Hall to open for fall classes.

The ground-breaking for the new residence hall took place on April 18, and the project is scheduled for completion by Fall 2012. There will be two residential buildings with different living conditions than other resident halls on campus. This resident hall will consist of private bedrooms, common space areas, semi-private bathrooms and a kitchen area. It will also have a food court and recreation center.

“Some of the work being done on campus should be completed by late this week for summer school or soon after that,” Hoey said.