PEORIA – Governor Pat Quinn today announced $4.8 million in grants to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and Eureka College. The grants are part of $90 million set aside this fiscal year in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program to address the critical needs of the state’s private colleges and universities. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to improve higher education in Illinois while creating thousands of construction jobs.
“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,” Governor Quinn said. “We are pleased to help these institutions address their needs while creating jobs and moving our economy forward.”
The Bradley University grant totals $2,930,988 and will go toward funding Health Science and STEM Education laboratories and classrooms in the newly renovated Westlake Hall. The Westlake Hall project was completed recently and created hundreds of jobs over two years at a critical time as the state was rebounding from a global recession. The renovation and expansion has allowed Bradley University to build state of the art classrooms to educate future leaders.
“The state’s investment has allowed us to expand the infrastructure and remodel Westlake Hall, and in turn enhance the educational excellence of the next generation of teachers, leaders and entrepreneurs,” Bradley University President Joanne Glasser said. “This building engages the discipline of teaching and learning at the highest level and also merges history of this fine institution with the future of education.”
Eureka College will be the recipient of a $716,366 grant that will be used to completely renovate a nearly 100-year old academic building, Vennum-Binkley Science Hall, a more than $5 million project.
“As a private institution, we rely heavily on the generosity of donors for infrastructure projects like the renovation of the Vennum-Binkley Science Hall and the construction of its state-of-the-art addition, Sanders Hall,” Eureka President J. David Arnold said. “Together these projects represent more than $10 million in construction on one of the college's main academic buildings. The state's investment in our construction will amplify the success of the private funds raised, furthering the college’s academic pursuits and student learning outcomes.”
Illinois Wesleyan University will receive a $1,217,605 grant to install sprinkler systems in several campus residence halls.
So far under Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, private universities have received $200 million to address their capital needs.
Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.