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Future of Lincoln Hall to be studied

August 16, 2013
Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall

With Grant D Tower and Gilbert Halls coming online this fall, housing approximately 500 students, Northern Illinois University will begin a cost/benefit analysis regarding the future of Lincoln Hall as a student housing option.

A preliminary study of current student housing trends, capacity requirements and operational costs that include proper maintenance of the dated facility found that student demand for housing in Lincoln Hall is significantly less than the rest of NIU’s newer, improved housing options. In 2012-13, less than 400 students lived in Lincoln and only two of the four wings of the building were utilized.

“The funds saved by suspending student residency in Lincoln Hall this year can be reallocated to other important university priorities that promote student career success,” President Doug Baker said.

Based on the significant cost to operate and maintain the building, estimated to be in excess of $1.5 million annually, along with the addition of newer, modern student housing as part of the New Northern Lifestyle and Vision 2020 Initiative, the university will realize significant financial benefit from suspending student occupancy of Lincoln Hall beginning this fall.

“It is important that the university responsibly manage its fiscal resources,” said Steve Cunningham, acting executive vice president of Business and Finance. “Suspending occupancy at Lincoln Hall provides significant cost savings of nearly $1.5 million per year and is consistent with our efforts to conserve and consolidate resources.”

To the extent necessary, academic and related services provided in Lincoln Hall will be relocated to other facilities across campus.

Cunningham indicates that the university will begin a long term cost-benefit analysis will be undertaken relative to the future status of Lincoln Hall.

The Abraham A. Lincoln Residence Hall, completed in August 1962, was the first of two five-story residences constructed on NIU’s west campus at a cost of nearly $5 million including furnishings. The 280,562 sq. ft. structure was financed though revenue bonds. It originally housed only men before becoming a co-educational residence in 1963.