The Stevens Building renovation project at Northern Illinois University was halted at the end of June due to the Illinois budget stalemate.
The NIU Board of Trustees this week took action to protect the work done so far from winter damage.
The trustees approved spending $300,000 to protect a portion of the project so it can be heated as protection from the cold. Empty windows and doors also will be sealed throughout the structure to keep out animals as well as inclement weather.
While the university must pay for the work up front, NIU expects to be reimbursed for most or all of the work, however, there are no guarantees at this time. Regardless, it is a worthwhile investment, says NIU Vice President for Administration and Finance Alan Phillips.
“We estimated that without doing this work, up to $1 million worth of progress on the project could be jeopardized, and the timeline for bringing the building back online would be pushed back even further,” said Philips.
The Stevens Building was home to the NIU School of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Anthropology.
NIU received funding for the $28 million project from the Capital Development Board in 2010. When the work is complete, it will include a new, two-story north wing, a new auditorium with tiered seating, a new “black box theater,” an expanded scenery shop, and a dramatically remodeled west wing, with all new HVAC and utilities throughout.