April 27 farewell dinner planned for Douglas Hall

Douglas Hall

Douglas Hall

Alumni are invited to a closing ceremony Sunday, April 27, for Douglas Hall, which will be demolished this summer to extend Lucinda Avenue for better access to campus.

At the ceremony, scrapbooks will be available for alumni and students to record memories and quotes about the 51-year-old residence hall and to add mementos for a time capsule, which will be stored in campus archives.

The ceremony will begin with a reception at 4 p.m. in the Douglas Hall cafeteria to record memories, followed by a tour at 5 p.m. and dinner and a farewell address from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Although the event is free, sign-up is required. RSVP to John Cheney at jcheney1@niu.edu.

Alumni are invited to share memories on the NIU Alumni Facebook page.

Lucinda Avenue will be extended to the west side of campus with the objective of creating a 10-minute walkable campus. A new electric tram service, pedestrian walks, bike paths and a bisecting tree-lined throughway will be part of the design.

The $4.5 million project will allow easier access to the Convocation Center, recreation fields and parking. The extension, expected to be completed by mid-November, is also designed to minimize traffic and provide a safer and more efficient transit, especially for those students living in residence halls.

Douglas HallDouglas was constructed during a decade of dramatic student enrollment.

While it has served the university’s students well since its opening in 1963, it is not conducive for future use. Besides deficiencies in the structure, it lacks elevators, air conditioning and appropriate technology to make it a proper 21st century housing option.

“With the addition of New Hall and Gilbert Hall, students have begun moving away from Douglas Hall as a viable or suitable housing choice,” said Eric Weldy, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “Students desire affordable and flexible housing options with access to modern amenities. By eliminating Douglas and the associated maintenance costs, resources can now be redirected toward other residence halls that will help us to reach our student career success goals.”

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