SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he is releasing $4.11 million in Illinois FIRST funding for projects in Central Illinois, including $2.5 million to Millikin University to help renovate the Scovill Science Hall on its Decatur campus.
The building will be gutted and redesigned to support all facets of the Tabor School of Business, and will include a technology center, a business research center and a center for entrepreneurship. The university is contributing $1.02 million.
Other Illinois FIRST grants announced by Ryan:
- $1,500,000 to Blackburn College to construct a visual arts building on its campus in Carlinville. The building will be attached to the performing arts building, completing a center for fine arts.
- $50,000 to Pere Marquette State Park to purchase and install lighting for a set of tapestries known as the "Four Rivers" located in the lodge's great room.
This Illinois FIRST project was initiated by State Rep. Tom Ryder, R-Jerseyville.
- $25,000 to PORTA Community Unit School District 202 to help construct a new community park in Petersburg. The district is contributing $15,000.
This project was initiated by State Rep. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield.
- $25,000 to the Carroll Catholic School, Lincoln, to purchase and install computers and printers.
This project was initiated by State Sen. Claude "Bud" Stone, R- Morton.
- $10,000 to the American Red Cross, Springfield, to purchase a self-contained mobile blood donation unit.
This project was initiated by Stone.
Illinois FIRST funds are not part of the state budget's General Revenue
Fund. Recently, lagging tax collections brought on by a slowdown in the national economy and the terrorist attacks of September 11 have forced the governor to order spending cuts in the General Revenue Fund that amount to less than 2 percent of total spending. Illinois FIRST monies are derived from separate accounts in the state budget -- the Road Fund and the Fund for Illinois Future -- as well as through the sale of state bonds.