New Northwestern visitor center opens to prospective students


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Students walk past the new welcome center at the corner of Sheridan Road and Campus Drive on Thursday evening. The complex is scheduled to open Friday.

Jeanne Kuang, Campus Editor

Beginning Friday, prospective students visiting Northwestern will start their campus tours at the new lakefront Visitor Center.

The building, perched beside Lake Michigan on 1841 Sheridan Road, now houses the undergraduate admissions department and the University parking office. It includes a 160-seat auditorium, offices, meeting rooms and a two-story reception area.

Built with a combination of glass and stone, the center is about 170,000 square feet. In addition, a parking garage that opened over the summer is attached to the building. The parking garage includes a geothermal cooling and heating system, as well as an electric car charging station.

Staff members moved into the Visitor Center’s offices last week, said Sue Budinsky, the building’s project manager.

“We still have some odds and ends to finish in both buildings but … everybody’s moved in, and they’re operational,” Budinsky said.

The Visitor Center began construction in the summer of 2012 as one of South Campus’s main building projects. The new Music and Communication Building is still under construction and expected to be completed in early 2015.

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