Stevens Building

Victoria Lunacek

Northern Illinois University re-opened the Stevens Building this year. The Stevens Building opens after years of renovations as the home of the School of Theatre and Dance and Anthropology Departments. The $23.7 million project started in 2014 and finished just in time for the 2018-19 school year. The building features a new lecture hall, box office and Black Box theater.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A Northern Illinois University construction project could be delayed again if state lawmakers don’t pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year.

Construction of the NIU Stevens Building – which houses the theater and anthropology schools – is at risk of being delayed for the second year due to the state’s financial woes.

Alexander Gelman directs the NIU School of Theatre and Dance. He says an entire class of students has come and gone without ever setting foot in their promised new building.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

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. 

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.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

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.”

Jenna Dooley

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.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University students will rally Thursday to bring attention to the state’s budget impasse.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is the keynote speaker at the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation Dinner.

Before he takes the stage, students, staff, and other community leaders will be in the center of campus calling for awareness of cuts to MAP grants, social services, and the halt in construction of the Stevens Building.

Renovations Halted On NIU Stevens Building

Jul 22, 2015
Rachel Scaman

Construction on NIU's Stevens Building is on hold due to the state budget impasse.

The Stevens Building housed the School of Theatre and Dance and Department of Anthropology. NIU waited on renovations to the Stevens Building for nearly two decades. That's according to NIU Spokesman Brad Hoey.

The project was first announced in 2010 and construction on the building stopped June 30. Hoey says the departments have been very patient and are looking forward to moving into the building in 2016.