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Extreme Makeover: Northwestern Edition

August 9, 2010
Among the largest renovations is the joining of 600-610 Lincoln to Elder Hall. The project will create a unified living space for approximately 300 first-year students.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University residence halls have been getting a major spruce-up over the summer.

Scheduled renovation of University housing this year will total nearly $20 million. Typical annual renovations total $8 to 10 million.

Construction of a new late-night coffee shop in Willard Residential College is among the highlights. With a separate entry and exit for after-hours dining, “it will be the south campus equivalent to Lisa’s Café,” said William Banis, vice president for student affairs.

Among the major renovation efforts, Elder Hall will be joined with 600-610 Lincoln to create a unified living space for approximately 300 first-year students; Rogers House will undergo a complete renovation that is expected to achieve Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification; and Bobb-McCulloch will get a new contemporary and environmentally friendly look.

“The projects are a continuation of our efforts to create safe and comfortable living-learning environments,” said Banis.

In addition, renovations to Searle Hall -- which houses Northwestern University Health Service and portions of Counseling and Psychological Services -- will be completed by the beginning of the fall quarter. Renovations to the building, including a 29,250-square-foot expansion, began in the fall of 2008.

Renovation highlights follow.


  • Replacing current built-in furniture and cabinetry with contemporary and highly functional furnishings. 
  • Replacing carpeting with environmentally friendly carpet tiles throughout.
  • New contemporary paint scheme.

Rogers House:

  • New furnishings in all sleeping rooms and common areas.
  • New carpeting throughout.
  • New paint throughout.
  • Electrical systems and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning upgrades.

Elder Hall Connection with 600/610 Lincoln:

  • Physically joining Elder Hall to 600 Lincoln and 610 Lincoln.
  • Creating a unified living space for approximately 300 first-year students.
  • Installation of an elevator providing access to all floors.
  • New lounges and meeting space to serve students.
  • New furnishings, carpeting and paint.
  • An apartment for Northwestern’s first faculty-in-residence.
  • A suite of offices to allow campus programs to bring services to students onsite.

Willard Residential College:

  • Constructing a late-night coffee shop in Willard Dining Hall with new patio and exterior entrance.
  • New furnishings, carpeting and paint for Willard lounges.

College of Cultural & Community Studies:

  • Bathroom improvements throughout.

Chapin Residential College:

  • New lounge furnishings, carpeting and paint.
  • Radiator valve replacement.

Seabury Hall and Graduate Residences:

  • Window replacements.
  • Installation of window air-conditioner units.
  • Sprinkler installation.

Engelhart Graduate Residence:

  • Elevator improvements.
  • Converting twin-studio units to one-bedroom single apartments.
  • Interior painting.
  • Entryway improvements.

McManus Living-Learning Center:

  • Elevator improvements.
  • Interior painting.
  • Electrical upgrades.

ADA Improvements: Accessibility design to be improved at:

  • 1856 Orrington
  • 562 Lincoln
  • 710 Emerson

Bobb-McCulloch/North Campus – Emergency Power Improvements:

  • Replacing the generator to provide better emergency power backup.
Topics: University News