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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Delay In State Budget Also Delays NIU Stevens Building Construction

Katie Finlon

The Northern Illinois University Anthropology and Theatre & Dance departments will be without a designated academic building for at least one more year.

The renovated NIU Stevens Building was supposed to be finished by this fall, but the state budget impasse delayed the project.

NIU spokesman Joe King says that, if the school gets funding by next month, the “best case scenario” would be that the construction will be done by fall 2017. But he says the longer it takes to pass a state budget, the longer those students don’t get those “first-rate facilities.”

“So, for us, every day that goes by without money to finish that project is kind of the worst-case scenario because we were really expecting to be able to accommodate those programs by this fall,” King said.

King says NIU will still be in the hole from not keeping on schedule even if the school gets the full amount of money for the project from the state. That's due to additional deterioration from the unfinished building sitting for a year.

NIU already spent $300,000 weatherizing the building during winter.

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