Change is in the air at the Holmes Student Center (HSC) as the building’s lower levels are being prepared for a major overhaul.
When completed in the fall of 2019, the area will include a new glass entryway with a tiered plaza opening to the Martin Luther King Memorial Commons, inviting lounge spaces, new dining options, new office space for student organizations and more.
Before all of that can happen, however, crews will be busy relocating the current tenants of the spaces scheduled for renovation.
The Office of Orientation and Family Connections has already moved from the basement of the HSC into offices on the sixth floor while Military and Post-Traditional Student Services has taken up new quarters in room 170 of the Campus Life Building. The NIU Police substation will be relocated to room 141 on the main floor of the HSC later this month, while the One Card office will move across the commons to Founders Memorial Library soon.
As for restaurants, the Coffee Corner is expected to pour its last cup of Joe sometime in mid-April, while Subway will serve its last sandwich on Tuesday, May 8. The Blackhawk cafeteria line will shut down on Friday, May 11 – as will the Center Market. Many of the options provided by those venues will now be offered in the Coffee and Bagels Café on the lower level of the Founders Memorial Library.
The University Bookstore will close shortly after graduation (Sunday, May 13). A temporary spirit gear shop will open in the Gallery Lounge on the west end of the main floor of the HSC and remain there through the construction.
The university is currently in talks with a national college bookstore chain to coordinate book sales during and after the construction. Details will be released shortly, but systems will be in place before any summer classes begin.
By mid-May, most of the lower level will be off-limits to the public. An official groundbreaking is likely to take place this fall.
For more information, consult the HSC renovation website.