At Northern Illinois University – like Chicagoland – there are two seasons: winter and construction. This year will be much the same on the DeKalb campus, as work crews begin to tackle a long list of maintenance and improvement projects.
Northern Illinois University’s Vision 2020 Initiative calls for reinvestment in the maintenance and beautification of campus, and work is already under way.
“Each improvement and upgrade is a reflection of the pride that each of us take in this institution,” NIU President John G. Peters said.
Key projects include completion of Grant Towers D renovation by June 1; Gilbert Hall renovation to be completed by mid-July; the construction of a brand-new Outdoor Recreation Sports Complex, which is anticipated to be complete by Aug. 1; and Kenneth & Ellen Chessick Practice Center (anticipated completion Oct. 12). Each of these projects will enhance the living-learning environment for current and future NIU students.
NIU is again aggressively working to improve campus landscaping. This includes repairing campus benches, replacing old site furnishings, re-grading settled landscape areas and backfilling and seeding. Pedestrian walks will also be installed and repaired throughout campus, and work will include curb replacements, some stamped concrete work and step repairs.
Other campus beautification work includes water feature installations in the Lorusso Lagoon and Barsema Pond, where fountains will be installed to not only add to the scenic beauty but to aerate the bodies of water so as to prevent algae growth. Read more →
Demolition is now underway on a home in the 200 block of Oak Street be torn down to make way for a parking lot, which will be used by the DeKalb Public Library and Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home.
Two other homes, one on each side of this, will be torn down in the coming weeks for the parking lot as well.
DeKalb County Courthouse Construction, 1905. Image Source: Joiner History Room, Sycamore, Illinois Public Library
The Sycamore History Museum will be presenting a Brown Bag Lunch this Thursday, March 3rd at noon. Sue Breese will share her research on the DeKalb County Courthouse including the challenges Sycamore faced by local communities to maintain being the county seat.
The current DeKalb County Courthouse building was the third such structure to be built in Sycamore. The first courthouse was a log building built in 1839, across the street from its current location. Due to progressive growth in the county, a second building was constructed in 1850 and additions were made to this structure in 1863.
There was some controversy surrounding the location of the current courthouse. Prominent DeKalb leaders wanted the county seat and the courthouse moved from Sycamore to their city, but local contributions and legal efforts allowed Sycamore to retain both and to build a new courthouse, at a price of approximately $100,000.
The Brown Bag Lunch will be held at the Sycamore Federated Church, 612 W. State Street in Sycamore. Coffee and cookies will be provided. For more information about the Sycamore History Museum, please visit their website.
From RE/NEW DeKalb
The major construction work on Lincoln Highway and Locust was completed as of November 18. The work was finished ahead of schedule for the overall project. Work will resume on Locust in the spring to complete the project by June of 2011 as anticipated. Hollydays in Downtown DeKalb is underway and many of our businesses are reporting a good start to the season. Shoppers and visitors are enjoying the downtown improvements as well as our many wonderful shops and restaurants and we encourage everyone to keep it local this season!
While most work is done until spring, here are some updates and a few reminders regarding construction during the winter months.
ComEd, Frontier, and Comcast will be scheduling and overseeing their individual utility crossovers through the winter and in the spring. Customers will be contacted by the utility companies when work is schedule as well as if and when any disruptions in service might occur.
Read more →
Construction is heading to the north side of Locust Street starting on Friday, October 8. This means traffic control will change and vehicles will now be able to enter from North First and head eastbound on Locust.
On the south side of Locust, bricks will begin to be installed on Friday. Brick installation and other sidewalk work will continue through next week. The south side will be open now to eastbound traffic, but there will be almost no parking at this time on Locust due to the work on the sidewalk and on the north side.
The lights from 1st to 2nd will not be lit until the work on the north side is complete. Utility poles will remain until next spring. Utility companies will arrange for the cross over connections with businesses and residents over the winter. Sections of sidewalk have not been poured adjacent to the existing light poles. Those sections will be filled with stone for the winter and paved once poles are removed in the spring.
On the north side of Locust, demolition will begin on Friday following the traffic control change over. Work will begin at the west end at 1st and Locust and move east. All sidewalk and roadway pavement will be removed at once. The contractor will continue working on Saturdays. At times roads and driveways will be blocked while they are removing pavement, but this should only be spot closures from time to time.
If there are any questions please contact Joel Maur, City Engineer at 815-748-2000 or Jennifer Groce at Re:New DeKalb at 815-748-7788.
Block 1 (1st to 2nd Streets on the South Side) construction is almost done. The only things that remain are the landscaping beds and putting the benches and garbage cans back in. Block 2 (2nd to 3rd) is down to bricks and lighting. This block will be done except the landscape beds and furniture by the end of this week. Block 3 (3rd to 4th, South side) will have concrete poured this week. Hopefully the fences on this block will be gone by the middle of the week.
Block 4 (1st to 2nd on the north side): Monday is the start of work on the North side of Lincoln between 1st and 2nd. Expect removals to start on Monday or Tuesday. As a reminder the first day of removals is loud and messy. Doorways are accessible but signs directing pedestrians to the alley for those with alternate entrances will be up. Expect to see the fencing go up on Monday or Tuesday. Following removals, work will be done underground and getting ready to pour light bases.
Block 4 and 5 business are planning a Lemons to Lemonade block party the weekend of July 10 in the back in Palmer Court, to celebrate construction. Construction in both blocks should be occurring at that time.
Pedestrian Pass thru work will begin early next week. They will be coating the walls with a special sealer first and then installing geofoam. If you have any questions about the Downtown Construction please contact Mike Bauling at the City of DeKalb at 817-748-2000 or Jennifer Groce at Re:New DeKalb at 815-748-7788.