Northwestern University’s board of trustees today approved designs for a new lakefront athletics and recreation complex that will transform the northeast edge of the campus.

A Google Earth image of the area that includes the athletic complex site.

University spokesman Alan Cubbage says that as detailed plans for the project are prepared the school will submit building permit requests to the city for the project and hopes to begin construction within the next year.

The board first approved the concept of the new athletic complex 18 months ago and at a bowl game in December 2012 the school announced $55 million in gifts toward the project.

The university announced another gift for the project today in conjunction with the unveiling of its $3.75 billion overall fundraising campaign.

YouTube video

Football coach Pat Fitzgerald talked up the plans in a YouTube video.

The cost of the new athletics complex is expected to top $200 million.

Despite some rumors to the contrary, Cubbage says the project will not affect the City of Evanston’s water reservoir located beneath a university parking lot at the foot of Lincoln Street.

City officials have been debating whether the reservoir needs to be repaired or completely replaced.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Rumors? about NU’s project
    NU can stop the rumors now, please send or release the plot plan of the new Atheltic complex showing us the relationship to the water tank.
    Also maybe someone can explain the forest to the north of the complex, it appears to me that is city property?
    Ofcourse some can say this is only an artist rendering.

    The meeting of the Mayor, NU president and the governor at springfield and the statement the city may get funds for a new water tank, when this is all rumors, is very interesting to me,

    Also give the director of the city utility department several times has stated NU wants the tank moved in public, or is he just spreading rumors?

    Its easy to stop the rumors show us the drawings were the tank is in relation to the new $200 million dollar building – as I have stated and I am certain most other citizens would agree if NU wants the tank moved NU should pay for it not the taxpayers, I am OK that it moves and NU pays or we pay for the repairs of the top and it stays put.

    1. The water tank is nowhere near the new buildings

      Why the immediate hysteria over these plans?  The water tank sits below the parking lot in the lower right corner of the photo– nowhere near the new building sites. 

      'Some can say it is an artist's rendering'?  I suppose that's because it is an artist's rendering.  And the trees that concern you are not there now, at least not in those numbers.  Satisfied?

      1. NO hysteria
        Why does the Mayor keep on saying we need a new water tank, you are right its an artist rendering, show us the plans.
        I know were the water tank sits, show me how the existing road, building etc work together.
        Since you are talking trees, I find it interesting how the proposed trees will grow in sand? But given it looks like city land. Rendering by artists are just that, so show us the plot plans.

        Maybe you can explain why the president of NU and the Mayor went to talk to the governor about a new tank?

        Maybe I am concerned taxpayer money is going to be wasted, given NU wants to spend several billion why not pay the $28 million to move the water tank? Why should we taxpayers?

        Since you read the rendering so well, you have some connection to this?


  2. Who will be the first to

    Who will be the first to complaint about the lack of parking and/or too much density?

    1. Where is the space?

      Are you just on here typing nonsense of the top of your head? There will be plenty of parking (for a fee) at the giant and nearly complete soul-sucking parking garage that blocks lakefront views. Make a visit to the north end of campus to "admire" it, then look around and ask yourself where NU is going to come up with the space to put the other structures shown in that artist's rendering.

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