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NIU Stevens Building completion hinges on state budget

June 16, 2017 GMT

DeKALB – Construction on the Stevens Building at Northern Illinois University will be put on hold again if a state budget is not in place June 30, NIU spokesman Joe King said.

The building is intended to house the university’s anthropology department and School of Theatre and Dance, but work on the $27.4 million project stopped in summer 2015 when the state failed to have a budget in place and Capital Development Board projects were shut down.

NIU hasn’t received any more appropriations for the project since the $15.5 million from the state’s stopgap budget on June 30, 2016, King said.

The building was about 50 percent complete when construction resumed in November, and now it is about 75 percent complete with about five months of work remaining, he said.

The wings where offices and classrooms will be were only shells in November, and now they are about 80 percent complete. Shells have also been put up for the black box theater, screen shop and theater lobby, King said.

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Additional costs will also be incurred to prevent weather damage if the project is haulted again, including dehumidifying to prevent mold in the summer and winterizing the work to prevent freezing in the winter. The university spent $300,000 to winterize the building in 2015 and was reimbursed by the state.

“It’s very dissapointing,” King said. “We have outstanding programs in theater, dance and anthropology. The students and faculty will have to once again wait to get back into a facility they deserve.”