Northwestern University is finally putting its sizable endowment ($7 billion) to good use and breaking ground at the construction site of the new and improved Bienen School of Music and the School of Communication. We stopped a girl carrying a conspicuously large woodwind instrument on her back and deduced that she was a student. She admitted with little excitement that the project "was finally starting". The fact that the new Goettsch Partners-designed building would have "huge glass windows looking out on the lake and the city" did elicit a little bit more excitement though.
According to Jim Hurley, Associate VP of the Budget & Planning office, the project, which is setting the university back a hefty $117 million, isn't set to be completed until Spring 2015. At least current freshman will benefit from this little refurbishment. All we saw was a whole lot of concrete in various states of disarray and a massive crane moving huge pieces of metal from one side of the site to the other. The pace of construction is slow, which may test the strenuous relationship that Northwestern maintains with Evanston (read: the Brothel Law catastrophe).
Despite things moving at a glacial pace there, we heard sizable buzz on campus about the historic doors to Deering Library being reopened. We're confused why the front doors wouldn't open in the first place, but since the building's been plastered on postcards since it opened in 1933, we're willing to cut a little slack. Look for completion sometime in the next couple weeks.
The most exciting news is that a project called the "Mid-Campus Green" is slated for completion in December. Long story short, the parking lot between Annenberg Hall and Silverman Hall will be converted to grass, and lots of it very soon. We have two questions: one, why did this idyllic lakefront space spend so much time as a parking lot? And two, which genius planned the grassy space to be completely just in time for? the middle of winter!? We'll never know.