The 11,000-student institution headquartered in the North Park neighborhood already offers Latino-geared programs at the current El Centro campus of Pulaski Road and Belmont Avenue, but saw a need for a bigger facility to expand its academic and community programs, according to news release from the university.
NEIU gets federal funds to help first-generation, low-income Hispanic students.
The new three-story, 55,000-square foot facility will be built on a 3-acre plot between Drake Avenue, Henderson Street and Avondale Avenue, according to the university.
The building was designed to LEED Gold specifications by architect Juan Moreno of the Chicago-based architecture firm JGMA, and will feature a photovoltaic system on the roof with "fins" that control the amount of sunlight coming in, the release said. On the ground floor will be a "protective cement fiber rain screen system with windows to emit natural light."
It is scheduled to be completed in January 2014.