Altgeld renovation has progressed, but more work still needs to come

By Beth Oltmanns

Progress continues on the renovation of Altgeld Hall, and work will continue during winter break.

This semester the conservatory links were completed, the mechanical rooms were prepared and the east, west and lobby floor entrances were poured, said Patricia Perkins, assistant to the vice president of NIU Finance and Facilities.

The project originally began in fall 1999 with a $19.1 million budget. In September 2000, NIU asked the Illinois Board of Higher Education to grant an additional $4.9 million for the project.

Perkins said there have been no recent changes in the budget.

“I think we’re OK, finally,” she said.

Altgeld’s renovation was divided into three phases: west, center and east, Perkins said, and contractors have been working from west to east. Phase one and two, the west and center phases, are mostly complete, Perkins said.

The building is enclosed to allow work to continue all winter. During break, workers will focus on completing mechanical projects for phase three and putting up the sheet rock for phases two and three, Perkins said.

Perkins said the warmer-than-usual weather this season has helped the project move along.

The building still needs flooring, plastering and all the fixtures, Perkins said.

“There’s lots and lots of work ahead of us,” she said.

A date for completion of the project still is not definite.

“The timetable hasn’t changed,” Perkins said.