NIU Gets More Than $15M For Stevens Building Construction

Jul 4, 2016

One “best case scenario” – according to an NIU spokesman in a previous report – has happened for Northern Illinois University; NIU received its appropriation from Illinois after the state passed a temporary budget last week. 

File photo of NIU Stevens Building construction site
Credit Katie Finlon / WNIJ

NIU will get a $48 million appropriation in operating funds, which university officials say will go primarily to payroll. The school will also receive more than $15 million to complete renovations for an academic building that houses theater and anthropology students and faculty.

The building was scheduled to be done this fall, but construction stopped and was delayed a year due to the state budget impasse.

NIU Finance Vice President Al Phillips says the money going towards the Stevens Building construction is enough to complete the project.

“We were already in contact with the Capital Development Board, and we’ll be working with them to determine how quickly those funds can be released and we can get started again with the construction,” Phillips said.

NIU officials have said the school would be $300,000 in the hole due to weatherizing costs. Phillips says that should no longer be an issue with the state money it will receive.

“When you talk about the cost of restarting the project and any damage, that the money appropriated would not have been sufficient and we would’ve had to look for other funds to finish the project. But it looks like that, based on what we’re seeing, that we will have enough money to finish the project,” Phillips said.