In the fall of 2013, Northern Illinois University reopened its Gilbert Hall student residences after a state-of-the-art renovation as part of NIU's Vision 2020 initiative. The comprehensive modernization of this 72,000-square-foot building preserves the building's historical character as it provides modern amenities. Gilbert Hall first opened in 1952 as the third dorm CAPACITY187COST PER SQ FT$256.00FEATURED IN2014 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation the university’s campus and had not been used to house students for 18 years. The newly renovated hall offers single and double rooms, as well as expanded double rooms for upperclassmen. The renovation features a cyber-café dining area with outdoor patio, updated lounge areas and meeting spaces, a safety center for NIU police, a fitness center, private bathrooms, new laundry and vending facilities, extensive millwork, and fully updated HVAC and sprinkler systems. The four-story building now has air conditioning, new furnishings, an elevator and ADA accessibility, and Internet. This renovated student residence is a backbone of support and social development for the students. Its well-resourced and comforting atmosphere enhances students’ educational, social and professional lives.