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.
A renovated Gilbert Hall will re-open as a residence hall for the fall 2013 semester
In addition to completion of these important construction projects, Huskie pride is at work in the form of electrical infrastructure improvements; roadwork and patching; parking lot repairs; bridge repairs and building tuckpointing; painting; window cleaning; roof repairs; and lighting upgrades that include new LED lights near Stevenson and Grant Towers in addition to “Q-tip” lighting near the Student Center, the DuSable bus turnaround and the Psych-Math Building.
During this summer maintenance period, or any time, the university community is reminded that NIU has a mechanism for suggesting safety enhancements or reporting safety concerns, such as lights that are not working, bushes that are overgrown and blocking sight lines to walking paths or darkened areas of the campus that need additional lighting. These suggestions can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the staysafe.niu.edu website.
A complete list of projects and their proposed timelines can be found online.