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NORMAL — Some Illinois State University students will be attending classes in the historic Normal Theater spring semester.

The Normal City Council on Monday approved an agreement with the university to use the space for classes from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

ISU will pay the town $27,000. The town will be responsible for routine cleaning and maintenance while the university accepts responsibility for any damage caused during its use. 

ISU is short on classroom space because Capen Auditorium at Edwards Hall is undergoing a $1.3 million renovation. The work is expected to be completed before the start of fall semester.

The university and town approved similar agreements in spring and fall semesters last year.

In another matter, the council renewed an agreement with State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, to lease town-owned space at 104 W. North St. Brady has leased the space for $1 per two-year term since 2012. The renewal extends the lease to Jan. 13, 2017.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis shares the space with Brady and has a similar pact with the town.

The town purchased the former Babbitt's Books site several years ago with plans to eventually raze it as part of the uptown renovation plan so long-term leases are not possible, said City Manager Mark Peterson. Brady receives money from the state to rent space so the $1 rent saves the state money, he said.

"It's our way to do something helpful for local legislators," said Peterson. "It's good for us to have legislators in uptown, close to us."

Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and former state Sen. Shane Cultra previously rented the space.

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