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Top 14 of 2014: ‘This building has meant so much to so many’

December 29, 2014
NIU Board of Trustees Chair John Butler and Ilinois Gov. Pat Quinn

NIU Board of Trustees Chair John Butler
and Ilinois Gov. Pat Quinn spoke Sept. 22
at the Stevens Building groundbreaking ceremony.

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

No. 2

One of NIU’s most-dilapidated buildings – its rehabilitation deemed a top priority on campus for nearly two decades – finally turned a major corner in September.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn joined NIU Board of Trustees Chair John R. Butler and other officials Sept. 22 for a ceremonial groundbreaking on the expansion and renovation of the Stevens Building.

The $27.4 million project is managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board.

“Northern Illinois University is a gem of our state’s higher education system and these improvements will help them continue to attract students from across the nation and help them excel,” Gov. Quinn said. “In addition to providing new educational opportunities, the project will also create hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy.”

“This building has meant so much to so many students, faculty and staff,” Butler told the crowd of about 50 who gathered at the job site, “and will continue to be the staging ground for career success of so many others.”

Home to the School of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Anthropology, the Stevens Building eventually will total approximately 109,000 square feet. Its substantial completion is expected by October.

“We greatly appreciate the governor’s support of this much-needed renovation,” NIU President Doug Baker said. “It will create state-of-the art teaching and performance spaces for NIU students and faculty that will help foster student learning and prepare them for successful lives and careers.”