Northeastern Illinois University New Education Building Project Awarded to SmithGroup

The new $73 million Education Building at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, will be designed by national architecture and engineering firm SmithGroup.

At 160,000 gross-square-feet, the new building will accommodate the span of teaching, learning, service and research needs of the Northeastern College of Education users. A full range of space types will be programmed, including general and specialized classrooms, clinics and laboratories for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, and meeting and conference spaces.

“This is the perfect time to build an environment worthy of Northeastern students and faculty,” said Tim Tracey, AIA, Chicago office director and design principal at SmithGroup. “It’s important to provide them with a consolidated, state-of-the-art facility where ideas can translate into innovative processes.”

With the new building, the College of Education will develop a one-stop hub for all programs under its umbrella. By pulling from multiple Northeastern facilities, SmithGroup will merge the various facets of each program into a single, strategic resource for all students and faculty.

“Northeastern’s new Education Building will become a gateway to the university as well as an anchor for expansion and development on the south side of campus,” said Sharon Hahs, president of Northeastern Illinois University. “This building also will provide more opportunities for systematic tools of support for first-generation and dual-language students, directly enhancing student success. As a nationally recognized top-degree producer of education degrees to Hispanic and Asian students, Northeastern is committed to continuing its success in filling the national need for more minority teachers.”

The project is currently in preliminary design stages. Construction is estimated to be complete as soon as 2017.

Northeastern Illinois University ( is a fully accredited public university serving 10,000 full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students in the Chicago metropolitan area. Northeastern engages its diverse campus community in a rich environment of learning, teaching and scholarship. The University offers more than 80 academic programs in the arts, sciences, education and business. In 2012 Newsweek magazine named Northeastern Illinois University the sixth best investment among all universities in the nation and number one in Illinois. The University also is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the most diverse universities in the United States and is federally designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

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