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Construction begins on Norris stairwell

Susan Du/Daily Senior Staffer

The walls of the stairwell leading to Norris' ground floor are being renovated to include images of students and other members of the community who use the facility. The project is expected to be completed by the start of Spring Quarter.

Lauren Caruba, Assistant Campus Editor

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Construction on the stairwell leading to the ground floor of Norris University Center began Wednesday in an effort to repurpose the space.

Previously home to dozens of advertisements and fliers, the stairwell will soon feature pictures of Northwestern students and other images that “reflect campus community in the student center,” Norris executive director Kelly Schaefer said.

“There’s a push to really do something that represents Northwestern students in the building,” she said.

Workers began installing drywall panels Wednesday, a phase that will continue over the next week. Administrators expect the entire project to be completed before Spring Quarter.

Schaefer said the area was not very effective for publicizing student events. Before, the stairwell was so cluttered with fliers that much of the information got “lost in the shuffle,” she said.

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, assistant vice president for student auxiliary services, also cited fallen papers and thumbtacks as making the stairwell hazardous at times.

The stairwell makeover is one of several changes coming to Norris this quarter. Last quarter administrators approved plans to install cell phone charging stations, and this quarter the Dell computer lounge was relocated to the ground floor and hooked up to printers.

Payne-Kirchmeier wrote in an email to The Daily on Thursday that the project is meant to enhance Norris and create a “more welcoming space at the entrance to the building.”

“We want to represent our NU community at Norris and make it a welcoming and supportive space,” Payne-Kirchmeier wrote. “Our students and community deserve it.”

Jillian Sandler contributed reporting. 

— Lauren Caruba