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Top 14 of 2014: Hey, look what we’re doing to the place!

December 24, 2014
Artist’s rendering: “A Great Main Street – Lucinda”

Artist’s rendering: “A Great Main Street – Lucinda”

As 2014 draws to a close, NIU Today offers a look back at 14 of the top stories from the year.

No. 7

NIU’s mission to improve the student experience through re-envisioning the campus gained critical support in the early spring.

Members of the Board of Trustees voted 7-1 March 27 to extend Lucinda Avenue west to better facilitate access for students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus activities, facilities and amenities.

The move, which requires the dismantling of Douglas Hall, provided the first significant step in re-envisioning the NIU campus to inspire and enable student career success.

“The board made an important decision today to formally begin activity that will no doubt be part of its longer-term facility planning,” said John Butler, chair. “Hopefully the message to the campus is clear that the board supports the investment of time and thought that has gone into the bold futures initiative.”

“A Great Main Street – Lucinda” is one of the “Eight Bold Ideas for the Future” expressed in the 2014 Master Plan Thesis.

Bold Futures logoNIU strategic consultant Ron Walters called the master plan a “win-win-win-win” situation for the university, the city, developers and students, noting every design change would also enhance safety. “At every stage of this,” Walters added, “there is student internship opportunity.”

Summer, as always, meant campus beautification season.

“A great university needs great public spaces,” NIU President Doug Baker said. “We need more places that are not only beautiful, but inviting. Places where faculty, students and staff want to hang out, meet and interact. Places that enhance our sense of community. We think this work will set us on that path.”

In the meantime, NIU forged ahead with the president’s Bold Futures agenda of workshops, brainstorming and presentations.