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Northwestern Unveils $32-Million Visitors Center

New building should help alleviate parking on nearby residential streets during weekdays.

plans to break ground this summer on a $32-million, 170,000-square-foot visitors center in the southeast part of campus.

The school announced the construction, which is part of its 2009 plan to redo the southeast entrance to campus, in a press release Friday. Architecture firm Perkins+Will will design the building, which will include a 160-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, office space for admissions staff and waiting areas for campus visitors. More than 47,000 people visit the admission office each year, the release said.

The Daily Northwestern quoted Bonnie Humphrey, director of design and construction, as saying, "It certainly is an important gateway for all prospective students and visitors on the campus,"

The plan calls for the demolition of a third of the two-story parking garage. That will be replaced with a green space that will slope down toward the Lake.

A new 435-car parking garage will be open to the public during weekends and evenings, and the school anticipates that it will reduce parking on residential streets during weekdays by visitors, the release said.

The school plans to make the project environmentally friendly, with geothermal heat and stations for charging electric cars.

According to the school, the overall $151 million southeast campus construction plan will bring in about $2 million in permit fees for the city.

Construction is expected to last 18 months. For more information, visit the university's webpage about the project.

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Jim February 04, 2012 at 06:15 PM
That's great but they can leave the charging stations out. The electric car is going nowhere. GM has recalled all 6000 sold because the batteries catch fire. They are expensive, have a short range and produce more carbon than they save because of the transfer of charging to the production of electricity to charge them. Any legitimate non government owned company would have abandoned them long ago. But if Northwestern wants to look green, so be it. I hope they don' expect me to give them any money for the effort.

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