Construction to start for Faraday II

By Caryn Rosenberg

The bids are out for Faraday II, and construction could begin as early as this summer.

Plans to build the long-awaited Faraday II building were halted last year because of state budget problems, but with the recent release of funds by Gov. Jim Edgar in February, steps toward the construction of NIU’s new science building already have begun.

“On April 6, the architects, Holabird & Root of Chicago, made drawings available to contractors,” said NIU Planning Associate Doug Snow.

In addition, Snow said a pre-bid meeting was held on April 15.

(The meeting) gives interested bidders a chance to ask questions about the drawing and understand more about the Capital Development Board’s (CDB) policies,” Snow said.

Snow said bidding will begin within the next month.

“On April 29, mechanical, electrical and plumbing bids will be opened and on May 5, general contractor bids will be opened,” he said.

Snow said the contract will be drawn up once CDB determines the contractor that has the lowest bid and some construction could begin as early as July.

“There will be construction activity when students return to school unless there is some type of snafu,” Snow said. “We want them to use the construction season to the best of their


Snow said the project was actually at this same point last year.

“Plans were completed a year ago and bids went out in January of ‘91,” Snow said. “Governor Edgar froze all the capital projects when he took office because of the state’s budget situation, but he announced the release of the money when he came to campus.”

Snow said the appropriations for the project were made in two phases. The first appropriation was received in 1987 and the second in 1990.

“The first appropriation to plan the project was $946,500,” he said. “This phase was all architectural engineering. The money to proceed with the construction phase, which includes architectural engineering, is $20,414,400.”

Snow said he doesn’t think the project will be halted again.

“We’re assured we won’t have to stop this time,” Snow said. “The project is out for bid and if all goes well, it should be a mess by the time school starts—a happy mess.”