SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he is releasing $1.535 million in Illinois FIRST funding for projects in Western Illinois, including $1.5 million to Knox College, in Galesburg, to renovate Alumni Hall for public and academic purposes.
The exterior renovations will include restoring the exterior façade to replicate the original 1890 appearance of the building. The interior renovations will include an interpretive center for the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the Underground Railroad, a secure art gallery, a historically restored lecture and debate hall and a Linclon Studies Center for historical research.
Other Illinois FIRST grants announced by Ryan:
$25,000 to the Liberty Fire Protection District to construct a building addition at its fire house.
This Illinois FIRST project was initiated by State Rep. Art Tenhouse, R-Liberty.
$10,000 to the Catholic Youth Association, Quincy, to purchase equipment and furnishings for its youth athletic programs.
This project was initiated by Tenhouse.
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.