Illinois is releasing $54.3 million to ISU for fine arts complex
2 months, 3 weeks ago
Gov. Quinn said the project would create 775 construction jobs and is an investment in higher education
NORMAL — Gov. Pat Quinn started off Illinois State University’s Founders Day celebration with a bang Thursday, announcing the release of $54.3 million for a new complex for the university’s College of Fine Arts.
Proclaiming “We’re all Redbirds today,” Quinn told a room filled with people gathered for the annual bell-ringing ceremony that the project would create 775 construction jobs and is an investment in higher education.
“This investment means Illinois State University will be able to build on its excellent reputation in the fine arts, while creating hundreds of good jobs,” Quinn said.
University President Al Bowman said, “We’ve waited a long time for this … The current facility wasn’t designed for what we do today.”
The project has been on the university’s wish list for more than 12 years. The buildings are “not in the best shape” and have problems with ventilation and with requirements for access under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Bowman said.
The Center for Visual Arts and Centennial West will be torn down, and Centennial East will be extensively remodeled as part of the project. The Centennial buildings were built in 1959 and the Center for Visual Arts was built in 1973.