Northern Illinois University

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News Release

Contact: Joe King, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-4299

October 12, 2006

NIU breaks ground for first new
student housing complex in 38 years

DeKalb — Northern Illinois University broke ground today for Northern View Community, the university’s first new housing facility in 38 years.

“Northern View Community is a tremendous step forward for the university,” said NIU President John Peters. “It represents a dramatic improvement in the level of service we provide to our graduate and professional students, international students, and to all students who have a spouse, domestic partner or children and wish to live on campus. It is an upgrade that is long overdue, and one I am very proud to advance.”

The new six-building development will be located on 10 acres a short distance northwest of the NIU Convocation Center on the university’s West Campus. The complex will have 120 units, an increase of 40 units over the existing University Family Apartments, which it will replace. It will include one-bedroom (6 units), two-bedroom (108 units) and three-bedroom (6 units) apartment-style configurations. All units will be handicap accessible/adaptable, equipped with full kitchens, washers and dryers and Internet access. Amenities within the complex will include a community center equipped with a state-of-the-art computer lab, community rooms, study areas and a playground for the children of residents.

Northern View Community, which is expected to open next fall, is intended primarily to serve students who are married, have a domestic partner or children, as well as graduate and professional students, international students and non-traditional undergraduates for whom typical residence hall life might not be attractive or feasible.

“The university’s current facilities for such individuals are outdated and insufficient to keep up with demand,” said Brian Hemphill, NIU vice president for Student Affairs. “The Northern View Community complex will provide a spacious, modern living environment specifically designed to meet the needs of those student populations.”

The $20 million project is being built through a public-private partnership with Collegiate Development Services (, a not-for-profit, Texas-based organization that offers turn-key real estate development services to colleges and universities across the country, specializing in residence halls. The company currently has projects under way at more than a dozen locations across the country, including Midwestern State University (Wichita, Texas), Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, La.) and Stetson University (DeLand, Fla.) The partnership allows for the construction of the facilities without any state or student funds.

The firm helped secure financing for the project, oversaw design and will oversee construction of Northern View Community. The facility will be owned by Collegiate Development Services, but managed by NIU Housing and Dining.

“With rising construction costs and dwindling state funding for higher education, partnerships like this are becoming increasingly common across the nation,” Peters said. “We are very proud to be working with one of the leading names in this industry, and we have every confidence that Collegiate Development Services will help us to create an outstanding facility that will make our graduate and professional programs even more attractive to potential students.”

Northern View was designed by BLDD Architects ( S.M. Wilson ( will be the general contractor.

The existing University Family Apartments, built in 1959, will be razed when the Northern View Community is completed.

For more information about Northern View Community, visit the Web site at

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