The initial phase of The Northern Center renovation is nearing completion. Furniture will be moved in early next week in advance of a May 9 luncheon, which will mark the first event held in the new ballroom space. A high school prom is planned the following week.
“All of the spaces in Phase I look spectacular,” said Jim Thams, director of facilities and campus planning, in an update to the NMU Board of Trustees. “The Barnes & Noble bookstore opened April 15 and has generated a number of positive responses. We will be excited to see the reaction of guests at the first event next week.”
Thams said a charrette, or visionary planning forum, was held to obtain NMU students' feedback on the new Wildcat Den, a quick-service restaurant planned for the facility.
“We polled students on the menu and other aspects,” he said. “The students were excited about the concept, some of the gaming opportunities that will be available and just having a new venue where they can go in the evening hours.”
Upgrades to parking outside The Northern Center begin Monday. Construction material will be relocated so that new asphalt can be applied. There will also be islands in the existing parking lot. Landscaping enhancements at and nearby the lot will be completed in phases, beginning with the restoration of the Carillon Towers. Crews will install new benches, plant flowers around the towers and trim select trees that are encroaching on the site.
Phase II work on The Northern Center will continue through the summer. Completion is scheduled for the second week of September, with a dedication scheduled during Homecoming week.