DECATUR -- Governor Pat Quinn today announced $3.5 million in state support for the renovation and construction of an addition to the Student Success Center at Richland Community College. The project will expand space for learning at the center to allow student services to be consolidated into one location on the Decatur campus. Construction of this project will create about 65 jobs and is part of the governor’s commitment to put people back to work across Illinois.
“Community colleges are vital to the Illinois economy. They launch young people into the world of work and help older students make a fresh start,” Governor Quinn said. “This improved student center will strengthen Richland Community College and provide students with the helping hand they need to thrive in their classes.”
The Student Success Center, which is dedicated to helping students make the most of their educational opportunities, will become the front line for helping adults returning to school and teaching new study skills to struggling students. The project is expected to cost a total of $4.7 million, creating approximately 45 construction jobs and 20 support and supply jobs. State government will provide $3.5 million, and the local share is $1.2 million.
“Whatever the student sets out to accomplish, Richland Community College is here to provide the necessary support. The release of the funding for the Student Success Center will only enhance our ability to provide the services a student needs to be successful,” said Dr. Gayle Saunders, president of Richland Community College.
Demand for services has outgrown the space available at the Student Success Center. When construction wraps up, the center will have 11,985 gross square feet of new space and 13,909 gross square feet of renovated space, along with improvements to the heating and air conditioning systems. It will include offices, meeting rooms and storage areas.
“This project will put local tradesmen and women to work during construction and prepare students for a fast-changing world of work. This is a win-win situation for Illinois,” said Jim Underwood, executive director of the Capital Development Board, which manages all non-road, state-funded construction projects.
Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $31 billion program, which began in 2009, is expected to support an estimated 439,000 construction jobs over six years.