Strategic Visioning / Master Planning / Architecture

Northern Illinois University
Holmes Student Center
DeKalb, Illinois

An Entrepreneruial Union

Northern Illinois University has embarked on a three-tiered plan to revitalize the campus core through facility and landscape improvements intended to drive student traffic back to the heart of the campus.

In the 54 years since its initial construction, the over 300,000 sf facility has seen a drastic shift in the role that a Student Union is expected to play on a college campus. Once a place for a transactional experience, the Holmes Student Center of the future is now expected to be the social heart of the campus.

Recruitment and retention remain key benchmarks, yet the changing value proposition for higher education requires that universities expand their definition of student success. This is most assuredly true for institutions like NIU that commit to seeing student success beyond graduation and into student entry into the workforce.

 As the intersection of student life and academic affairs, it will be where students gain and practice the social and cultural expertise necessary to realize the value of the technical skills and specialized knowledge learned in the classroom.

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