NIU asks Regents for funds

By Lesley Rogers

NIU is asking permission from the Board of Regents to spend about $360,000 on a company that will help utilize space on campus and toward renovation of the Huskie Stadium.

These proposals are expected to be approved today during the Board of Regents meeting at the Holmes Student Center’s Clara Sperling Skyroom.

Eddie Williams, director of Finace and Planning, proposed contracting the Environments Group of Chicago to evaluate space on campus and develop an overall space strategy for NIU during the Regent’s Finance and Facility Committee on Wednesday.

The Regents will decide today whether or not NIU can spend $125,000 on the consultant services. The money to pay the consultant would come from NIU’s general revenue, institutional funds and bond revenue.

“We need to get maximum use out of our space. We need coordinated plans on moving people into these new buildings,” Williams said.

He said there were two ways of going about the problem. “We could haphazardly assign vacated space or we could get ourselves organized,” he said.

The consultant would assist in developing uniform campus space standards, evaluations of existing space and review and assessment of space needs. The group will also perform computerization of space inventory and develop an overall space allocation plan for the campus, Williams said.

Williams said the consultant will save NIU money in the future because the people assigned to the offices and classrooms will stay, and not have to be moved around.

Also during the committee meeting, Williams proposed that $236,000 be allocated for renovation and repairs on the Huskie Stadium.

“The stadium is 30-years-old. In the locker rooms the walls need repair, the flooring, the ceiling need repair and the lockers are in need of replacement,” he said.

He also said there is a problem with ventilation in the locker rooms. “If any of you have ever been in a sports locker room, you know the need for good ventilation.”

Regents Vice Chancellor W. John Pembroke said during the meeting that this is an important issue because “there are health and safety issues involved.”

Williams said NIU’s Business and Operations department evaluates different areas on the campus to prioritize repair and remodeling projects.

“There are more needs than there are dollars. Clearly, not everyone is happy with that priority,” Williams said.