Gov. Pat Quinn announced $54 million in funding for a fine arts complex at ISU Thursday. (Photo By Paul Morello/WJBC)
By Paul Morello
NORMAL - Gov. Pat Quinn helped kick off Founders Day at Illinois State University with a funding announcement Thursday morning.
ISU will receive $54 million to build a new fine arts complex, starting with $7.5 million for design and engineering.
"It's going to educate literally thousands of students all across Illinois and create jobs. It will create 775 construction jobs and other jobs will be created because of the complex," Quinn said.
The project will renovate or replace Centennial East, Centennial West and the Center for the Visual Arts. The former two buildings were constructed in 1959 while the Center for Visual Arts was built in 1973.
"The current facility really wasn't designed to do what we're using it for today," ISU President Al Bowman said. "We will construct the new facility in the exact same location but we'll reconfigure it, provide better access and of course make it more appropriate for faculty, staff and students."
The state money will come from the Illinois Jobs Now program.
From planning to completion, Bowman hopes the project will be done in 4-5 years.
"The design phase will probably take anywhere from eighteen months to two years and then we'll obviously be talking to the governor's office about the construction dollars from that point forward," Bowman said.
Illinois State's College of Fine Arts serves more than 1,100 students and includes 160 faculty and staff members.
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