FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2002
CHICAGO - Governor George H. Ryan today announced grant recipients for the first half of a two-year, $1 billion state school construction program for 51 school districts throughout Illinois, continuing the State’s investment in modern and improved facilities for Illinois’ school children.
The Governor made the announcement with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. The Chicago Public Schools will receive almost $98 million or 20 percent of the total school construction grant funds.
“Kids can't learn when they are busy dodging leaks in their classrooms or when they are working in cramped spaces.” Governor Ryan said. “During my administration, the state’s school construction program has helped build more than 300 new schools and 16,000 new classrooms,”
These school construction grants, coupled with required local matching dollars, will fund construction of 31 new schools; additions or renovations at 114 other out-dated school buildings; nearly 2,300 new classrooms; and educational opportunities for more than 66,550 Illinois children.
Governor Ryan announced the $489 million in grants today during visits to the National Teacher’s Academy in Chicago and Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing. Tomorrow, Ryan will announce school construction grants in Alton, Hutsonville, Decatur and Farmington.
The school construction grant program is funded through Governor Ryan’s Illinois FIRST program and helps local school districts relieve overcrowded classrooms and replace old and deteriorating facilities. To date, nearly $2.7 billion in state funds have been awarded to school districts throughout the state through the School Construction Program, which is jointly administered by the Illinois Capital Development Board and the Illinois State Board of Education.
”During my administration, we have contributed nearly $1.5 billion in new money to education by dedicating 51 percent in new revenue to schools and job training,” Governor Ryan said. “We have also helped hire more than 10,000 new teachers to work with kids in classrooms all over the state, but one of the most important things we have done is to help build and repair schools.”
The school construction program, authorized by the General Assembly in late 1997, is the first state building program to assist local school construction in more than two decades. So far totaling more than $5.5 billion in state and local matching funds, it is one of the largest such programs in the country.
Under the program administered by the Capital Development Board, local school districts must receive a project entitlement and secure the required local share of construction funds before receiving any state grant funds. The grants range from 35 to 75 percent of eligible construction costs. Enhancements such as swimming pools, gymnasiums and auditoriums are not considered eligible project costs and are excluded from all grant calculations.
Currently, only those projects that address emergency needs, crowded classrooms and old buildings are being funded.
Below is a complete list of new grant recipients.