Hoffman Estates campus ‘on schedule’

By Eric Krol

A recent hitch in the development of the Sears industrial park in Hoffman Estates will not affect NIU.

Last week, the state froze the final $13 million payment of its $61 million incentive to Sears for developing the park.

Tom Montiegel, NIU vice president for development and university relations, said there will be no effect whatsoever on the NIU Hoffman Estates Center which will consolidate NIU course offerings in the northwest suburbs.

Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch pulled the payment in order to help more vulnerable businesses deal with the recession.

Montiegel said the land has already been transferred to NIU. The village of Hoffman Estates had donated 800 acres of land as an enticement for Sears to build the park.

“We’re on schedule to open in August ‘92,” Montiegel said.

NIU broke ground on the site last October and development is going smoothly, Montiegel added.

The $6.2 million center will offer mostly graduate level business courses, replacing the 30 sites NIU currently rents in the northwest suburbs.

NIU will not use state funds to build the center; instead it will utilize the tuition money the classes will generate.

The project had been the subject of much controversy during 1990, when Roosevelt University objected about the proximity of the NIU center to its own branch campus in Arlington Heights.

The so-called “turf wars” were ironed out by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

NIU will essentially lease the center for 25 years while the park is developed and then assume ownership.