29.4.08

CONSENSUS MAY BE EASIER TO REACH. In a letter circulated to students, staff, and faculty, Northern Illinois president John Peters summarizes points of agreement about the future of Cole Hall.

First, I want to report that majority opinion on key issues differed very little from group to group. In ratios ranging from 3-to-1 to 4-to-1, our campus community asked that Cole Hall remain standing, but that it not be used for instructional purposes in its current configuration. Many of you invoked the memories of those whom we lost, and expressed a desire to honor them by giving new life to the building where they died.

Second, while some favored demolition and others urged us to keep the building, the majority of those espousing either position said they would not be comfortable taking or teaching classes in Cole Hall in its current incarnation. The strength of that feeling did not seem to diminish over the course of our six-week survey process.

Three proposals are on offer.
The first option suggests renovating both Cole Hall auditoriums, continued use as a lecture hall, but with significant changes and functionality.

The second option involves renovating Auditorium A (Room 100) as a lecture hall, while remodeling Auditorium B (101) to support no classroom activities.

The third option is to renovate both auditoriums to support no classroom activities.

Options two and three require the development of a large lecture hall somewhere else on campus. All options focus on use of the first floor with little to no change to the basement area.

The "Auditorium A" reference is to Jameson Auditorium, where a computer science class had finished early. "Auditorium B" refers to Collins Auditorium, all references to which appear to have been expunged from the university archives.

The basement area at one time held materials from the anthropology museum's collection as well as the anime association's screening room.

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