Space Rental in Altgeld Hall Policy and Procedures

Policy Approval Authority President
Responsible Division Office of the President
Primary Audience Faculty
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 01-01-2017
Policy Category/Categories Governance / Administration

Room Reservations and Rental Fees

Rooms 203, 225, 315 and the Auditorium in Altgeld Hall are available for rent for events, lectures, social functions, wedding receptions, etc. by the Special Events Office, located in Room 329 in Altgeld Hall.  An event must be booked a minimum of three weeks prior to the event date.  Events can take place Sunday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or on Friday or Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 midnight. Note:  catering and building services fees are higher on a Sunday date.  We restrict usage to one banquet-type event per weekend in the Auditorium.

The cost to rent the Auditorium is $1,800 and is a two day rental which includes use of the facility, use of tables and chairs, AV equipment, an event supervisor and building service worker.  Use of 225, 203 and 315 are included with an Auditorium rental.  The first day of the two day rental would be for deliveries, set-up, and rehearsal with the second day used for holding the event.

There is a $300 discount for groups who are affiliated with NIU—employees, alumni, current students—as well as for community non-profit groups.  The NIU affiliation must be within the immediate family.

Use of 225, 203 and 315 are free of charge if used during the “normal business day” of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  After hours rental would be $400 for Room 315 and $25 each for Rooms 225 and 203.

Once a room reservation request form is submitted, the event date will be held with no obligation unless someone else requests the same date.  If another request is received you will then be asked to make a financial commitment of $800 to continue to hold the date.  All billing is done through the Holmes Student Center Accounting Office.

Internal NIU Departments and Organizations and SA recognized student organizations may rent the Altgeld Auditorium for a $200 room rental fee.  Use of Room 315 after 5 p.m. is $50.  There is no evening charge for Rooms 225 or 203.  As of January 1, 2017, there is no longer an event supervisor fee.  Also as of January 1, 2017, there is a building services fee for the set-up of the room, cleaning of the event space during and after the event and tear-down of the room.  This fee will be billed directly to the client by Building Services.    

A room reservation form must be completed in its entirety and submitted to the events office to place a date on hold.  Student organizations will then need to complete a request through Huskie Links and arrange for a meeting with Public Safety before an event can be approved.  Public Safety will determine if security needs to be hired for the event.  If so, a security fee would be accessed.  A group will then need to confirm with the event supervisor that all procedures are complete and all approvals have been met before an event is considered approved.  All groups must have a one-on-one meeting with the event supervisor a minimum of one week prior to the event to go over final event details, gain approval of a timeline and complete a floor plan.

Use of Rental Space

Capacity for the Auditorium is 240 guests using 6’ rounds and 300 guests using 6’ banquets.  With a dance floor, capacity is 225 using 6’ rounds and 250 using 6’ banquets.  Capacity for a reception is 350, utilizing seating for 100; 250 would need to stand.  The Auditorium seats 400 theater-style.

Banquets with a cocktail-hour reception of 175 or more will hold the reception on the 3rd floor.  Under 175 guests may opt to either hold their reception on the 3rd floor or in the 2nd floor hallway.  Banquets with a dance floor and an attendance over 200 need to utilize the stage area for their event in order to have adequate floor space.

Once a floor plan is agreed upon by the client and event supervisor, no furnishings may be moved or added to the space without approval of the event supervisor.

Guests must adhere to the University’s no smoking policy which is no smoking is allowed anywhere on University owned property.

Decorations and Amenities

All decorations must be approved by the event supervisor before being use in the building.  Decoration regulations dictate that nothing be taped or tacked to the walls, ceilings or furnishings.  If tape is to be used on the floor it must be approved and the tape must be either painters tape or gaffers tape.  Tea lights or votives are allowed but must be enclosed in a container such as a votive holder, a hurricane lamp, a lantern, a floater bowl, etc.  No helium is allowed in the building.  If balloons are to be used they must be air-filled.  Fog machines are not allowed or any other type of décor or prop that would produce smoke, steam or anything else to cloud the air.

The brass rail on the grand staircase may be decorated.  However, items may only be attached with ribbon or a similar soft material in order to not scratch the brass or paint.  Floral wire, twist ties and zip ties are not allowed.  Only the interior rail may be decorated and the decorations may not cover or hinder the use of the brass railing.  No items may be placed on the risers of the staircase.   Banners may be hung from the railing, again, using appropriate fastening material.

Clients may rent linens from the Holmes Student Center or may bring their own.  All tables used for the event must be covered.  Skirting is also recommended but not required.  Coverings may be cloth, paper or plastic.  If tape is used on the tables it must be painters tape or gaffers tape and the client must remove all traces of tape after the event.

After the wedding reception has concluded at 12 midnight or before, anything of value, such as the wedding gifts, must be removed from the premises that evening.  Decorations or other belongings may be left in the Auditorium closet to be picked up at an arranged time the following week.


DJs and bands must bring in their own sound equipment.  Use of Altgeld’s wireless microphone is permitted for making announcements.  A client may connect a computer, an ipod or mp3 player to the Auditorium’s house sound but will need to provide an operator for that equipment.  This equipment may be operated from the Auditorium floor, stage or from the sound booth.

Altgeld can provide video projection in all of its rental spaces and the use of this equipment is included in the rental fee.  Only event personnel shall operate this equipment unless prior permission and training has been obtained. 

All rental rooms are equipped with WiFi.  Clients may sign-in using NIUguest with no password required.

Catering and Alcohol Regulations

All food and beverage service must be contracted through the Holmes Student Center Campus Catering Department.  A contract will be created between the client and the Holmes Student Center with billing coming from the Holmes Student Center Accounting Office.  Both room rental fees and catering fees will be included in this catering contract.  The down payment for the rental space and catering will be paid to the Holmes Student Center and a payment schedule established.  They are equipped to take cash, check or a credit card.

A group may request the right to accept a gift-in kind of a food product to be included in their event.  Acceptance of this product is subject to approval by the Holmes Student Center Catering Department and proper forms must be completed and signed.  A cake or sweet table items may be brought in from an outside vendor with catering’s approval.

Groups must abide by the University Alcohol Policy and must sign an Alcohol Use Agreement with the Holmes Student Center catering department.  Student groups may not serve alcohol at their events.  Alcohol may not be brought into the building or taken out of the building at any time. 


Guests must follow the university parking guidelines.  Parking restrictions Monday through Friday are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A client may rent a parking lot during the week for the fee of $100 and would make those arrangements directly with Parking Services.  There are no parking restrictions on Saturday and Sunday except as indicated by the posted signs in each lot.  No vehicles may park overnight in a University lot unless prior arrangements have been made with the event supervisor.

NIU offers valet parking service through our Public Safety Office and a contract and payment would be made directly with the Public Safety Office.

For a wedding ceremony/reception:  The nine meters in front of Altgeld will be reserved for use by the bride and groom and will have reserved signs on them that state “Reserved for the Bridal Party”.  Guests are welcome to drop off passengers at the front door but are not allowed to leave an unattended vehicle in the turn-around.  Special permission needs to be obtained in advance to park a bus on campus or to park a vehicle in locations other than parking spaces.

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