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Watch your step: campus construction cranks up for summer

May 22, 2014
Workers pour cement Wednesday near Grant Towers.

Workers pour cement Wednesday near Grant Towers.

Maybe it was the fence around the Stevens Building, where the long-awaited renovation project is finally beginning.

Maybe it was the window washers. Maybe it was the workers pouring cement on the north side of Grant Towers.

Yes, the unmistakable signs of summer are here: annual campus improvements have begun.

NIU’s “Huskie Pride At Work!” webpage includes details on building improvements, electrical and lighting upgrades, exterior cleaning, ground work, landscaping, painting, pedestrian walks, roadwork and patching, roof improvements and other construction.

Top projects include, of course, Stevens. Rehabilitation plans include a new, 6,000-square-foot lecture auditorium with tiered seating for up to 330 students, state-of-the-art teaching technology and the flexibility to be divided into three smaller rooms.

Other additions including adding about 10,500 square feet to the Black Box Theatre, which will feature a 30-foot ceiling, and 13,300 square feet to the scene shop. Workers also will put on a new roof, replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and modernize the plumbing and electrical wiring.

Soon to begin is the deconstruction of Douglas Hall and the extension of Lucinda Avenue west to better facilitate access for students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus activities, facilities and amenities.

Planners believe this will minimize car traffic through campus and provide a safer and more efficient transit, especially for those students living in residence halls. The goal is for the process to be completed this fall by mid-November.

DuSable and Reavis halls