Center for Black Studies to relocate

By Jami Peterson

Plans are underway to give the Center for Black Studies a new home when the new multi-level parking structure invades the block.

This summer, the Board of Regents approved an $8.5 million parking structure on NIU Lot 15, located south of Founder Memorial Library.

The Center for Black Studies is one of seven programs whose buildings will be demolished this December to make room for the garage.

Eddie Williams, vice president of Finance and Planning, said NIU will be meeting with architects and making plans to design a new building for the center.

NIU then will bring the architect’s plans to the Board of Regents meeting for approval in September, he said.

According to Williams, $450,000 was set aside by the Board of Regents this summer for the relocation of these programs.

The Honors Program, The Northern Star and the Geological Survey Department will be placed in the new Campus Life Building.

However, NIU still is working out the details of the locations of the remaining programs.

“We’re trying to develop a strategy for a permanent location for each program,” Williams said.

“Some programs required some type of separate identity given their mission and how they work best with the students.”

NIU Student Regent John Butler said he will attend the meeting in which plans will be made to design the Center for Black Studies building. He said he is pleased with NIU’s decision to construct the new building.

“I’m concerned it will continue to have a central location on campus,” he said. “The work of the center requires the structure to maintain its status.”

Although Center for Black Studies Director Admasu Zike is unaware of any definite plans to design a new building, he said his center requires a separate building.

“It is very important for us to have a separate identity because of the kinds of activities we do,” Zike said.

“We work all kinds of hours. (A new building) gives us more control and access to our building.”