New NCC graduate health sciences building

North Central College conducted a neighbor meeting on October 30 regarding the plans to construct a new building on Chicago Avenue to house a graduate health sciences program and a manufacturing processes lab for engineering students.

A 40,000-square-foot facility will be built between Patterson Hall and River Square. This area is currently green space with trees and a sidewalk. The trees would be lost. The sidewalk would move to the west, and landscaping would be added along the west property line next to the River Square alley.

The property slopes about 17 feet north to south, allowing for construction of one ground floor below grade, and three stories above. There will be pedestrian entrances on both the north and south sides. All vehicular access will be from the rear (no curb cut on Chicago Avenue). 25-foot setbacks will be in place from Chicago Avenue and River Square (no variances needed).

The building will be constructed largely with pre-cast concrete. Large “picture windows” will be part of the north and south facades, with a “fin” as a branding element above the Chicago Avenue entrance, perpendicular to the building and the street. The intent is to essentially act as a new gateway to the College heading up Chicago Avenue from downtown. Smaller windows will face River Square. No windows will be present on the east facade facing Patterson Hall.

This property is already zoned CU (College/University District), allowing the College to construct buildings up to 50 feet in height by right. The City of Naperville has indicated that the College does not need to amend its Master Land Use Plan to reflect this new building.

Intended construction timeline:

  • Early December: Another neighbor meeting with more details and more complete renderings
  • Early 2020: Submit application for building permit
  • Spring 2020: Construction begins
  • Summer/fall 2020: Additional neighbor meetings
  • Spring 2021: Manufacturing processes lab available to engineering students
  • Fall 2021: First cohort of MS in Physicians Assistant Studies (MSPAS) students

Questions/concerns were raised regarding parking, construction staging, and loss of green space. The College emphasized that its parking supply has increased 30% since the last Master Land Use Plan was passed (from 1011 to 1315), and that 100 spots are being brought online this week as the tennis courts on the south end are turned into parking.