IWU, Eureka net state grants for campus upgrades

2013-07-29T22:05:00Z IWU, Eureka net state grants for campus upgradesBy Lenore Sobota | lsobota@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — Illinois Wesleyan University’s residence hall sprinkler project and Eureka College’s planned classroom building renovations received a boost Monday with the announcement of $1.9 million in grants from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program.

Gov. Pat Quinn made the announcement at Peoria’s Bradley University, which will receive a $2.9 million grant for laboratories and classrooms in its newly renovated Westlake Hall.

Carl Teichman, IWU’s director of government and community relations, said the $1.2 million grant will enable the university to complete sprinkler installation at all campus residence halls.

“We obviously are very pleased to receive the funding to help to move the project along and, more importantly, to keep people employed,” he said.

The project at Ferguson Hall is being completed this summer, and Munsell Hall will be completed next summer. Both are seven-story residence halls.

Installation of sprinklers in such residence halls was mandated by state law.

Eureka College will use its $716,366 grant toward its more than $5 million renovation of the nearly 100-year-old Vennum-Binkley Science Hall.

Corrie Heck, Eureka College’s director of marketing and communication, said the grant will accelerate how quickly the college can pursue the renovation project and building of the Sanders Hall addition, a combined $10 million project being funded primarily through private donors.

Groundbreaking at Sanders Hall is expected later this fall with renovation work beginning shortly after that, Heck said.

The projects are scheduled to be completed for the 2014-15 academic year, she said.

“It’s a key construction project and a significant investment in Woodford County,” Heck said.

“Bradley, Illinois Wesleyan and Eureka have a long history of producing graduates who have done great things for Illinois, and these investments will help the schools stay competitive so current and future students can make a difference in the world,” Quinn said in a statement from his office. “We are pleased to help these institutions address their needs while creating jobs and moving our economy forward.”

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