Neckers, parking lots to get upgrades next summer

By Cory Ray, @coryray_DE

The SIU Board of Trustees approved the replacement of the Neckers Building heating and air conditioning system, and renovations of parking lots near Saluki Stadium and SIU Arena on Thursday.

Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell and Kevin Bame, vice chancellor of administration and finance, recommended the proposals for the renovations.

Parking lots 37 and 52, which are adjacent to the south side of the Engineering Building, and the section of Saluki Drive between US Route 51 and Douglas Drive will undergo resurfacing. The work is anticipated to happen next summer.


The projects are expected to cost $750,000, which will be paid for by the Parking Division and Parking Facilities Replacement and Reserve Fund.

Each lot will also have lighting replaced and mounts for possible security cameras to be installed. Cameras may be installed if renovation costs are less than the projected amount, otherwise it will be deferred. 

“The infrastructure would be there if we wanted to run security cameras,” Bame said. “I think eventually we will go there.”

He said the strip of road has wear and tear from traffic and the base has given out. A new asphalt top will be laid after the base is restructured.

“The infrastructure under it is not as solid,” Bame said. “It’s going to be a little bit more extensive work on that section.” 

The HVAC system in Neckers, which has been in use since 1963, is also past its prime.

Sam Quinn, a freshman from Pontiac studying zoology, said many classrooms in Neckers tend to be abnormally hot and some teachers even have to open doors to try to cool the rooms.


Bame said the estimated lifespan of the unit is between 30 to 40 years.

“It’s been maintained, and that’s been the reason we’ve been able to get some extra life out of it,” he said. “Now it’s time to replace it.”

The renovations are expected to disrupt two teaching and research labs, according to the proposal presented to the Board.

Bame said the estimated $1.5 million project does not have a projected start date.

Brianna Daniels, a freshman from Pinckneyville studying biological sciences, has chemistry lecture and lab in Neckers and said the heat can be even worse in the summer when attending lab because students must adhere to a dress code of pants and tennis shoes.

“You have to wear full clothing,” Daniels said. “We’re in this room that is super hot while it’s 85 degrees outside. It’s really hot.”

Cory Ray can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3326