architectural rendering of the new El Centro building

Sunday, August 10, 2014

After more than 40 years of serving students and the community in leased space, Northeastern Illinois University El Centro will have a new, permanent home on the Northwest Side of Chicago. The new location is on schedule to open in August 2014, in time for the upcoming fall semester.

About the New El Centro Building

The new NEIU El Centro building is under construction at 3390 N. Avondale Ave. in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. The location consists of more than three acres of land bordered by Henderson Street and Drake and Avondale avenues. The site houses a 55,000-square foot, three-story facility that is highly visible to the 460,000 vehicles that travel daily along the Kennedy Expressway.

With this new facility, Northeastern Illinois University plans to expand its academic and community programming. Northeastern students, faculty, staff and community members will have access to a higher education environment with modern facilities including technology-enhanced classrooms, wet and damp laboratories, a student lounge and study spaces, a computer lab, a resource center and library, meeting rooms and gathering spaces, faculty and staff offices, and an outdoor, third-floor terrace.

Juan Moreno of the Chicago-based architecture firm JGMA has designed the building. The design intends to meet LEED Gold classification and includes a photovoltaic array system located on the roof. Moreno’s design also incorporates a balance of form and function, as the building’s exterior “fins” adorn a glass curtain wall system and control the amount of sunlight into the building. The ground floor basks in natural light streaming through windows punched into a protective cement fiber rain screen system, and a glass cantilevered roof creates an inviting, covered entry space for the building.

About Northeastern Illinois University El Centro Campus

El Centro is one of Northeastern Illinois University’s campuses, which for several years has been located at 3119 N. Pulaski Rd. in Chicago. For more than 40 years it has served as a gateway to higher education for the Latino community, providing educational opportunities in an easily accessible setting.

Northeastern Illinois University El Centro assists students and their families with the admissions and financial aid processes, offers the general education program of the University as well as undergraduate and graduate courses leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and provides comprehensive academic support and co-curricular programs for students. El Centro serves nontraditional, part-time and returning adult student populations as well as traditional first-year and transfer students.

This location also serves the community through instruction and outreach programs. English as a Second Language and computer literacy workshops are offered to the community as well as seminars on education, health, housing and technology.

About Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University is a fully accredited public university serving more than 11,000 full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students in the Chicago metropolitan area. NEIU 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. Newsweek magazine has 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.