Governor Ryan Awards $7.2 Million Illinois FIRST Grant to Eldorado
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2000
ELDORADO -- Governor George H. Ryan today awarded the Eldorado Community Unit School District 4 a $7.2 million Illinois FIRST school construction grant for the construction of a high school.
"Through the Illinois FIRST program, we have nearly doubled the state's efforts to improve the physical facilities in which children learn," Ryan said. "We are easing the burden on local property tax payers by using state funds to help create more modern environments in which teachers can teach and children can learn."
The school construction grant for Eldorado will enable School District 4 to construct a new high school for 500 students in grades 9-12. The new building will replace the following three high school buildings which will be demolished.
Governor Ryan also announced funding for Carrier-Mills-Stonefront Community Unit School District 2, Sesser Valier Community Unit School District 196, Goreville Community Unit School District 1, and Vienna Public School District 55.
Since its inception in 1997, the state's school construction program has provided nearly $1.4 billion in state funds to assist 251 school districts in every area of the state, including the 67 districts for which Ryan announced grants today.
Under the school construction program jointly administered by the Capital Development Board and the State Board of Education, school districts must secure a local share of construction funds before receiving any state grant funds. The grants range from 35 percent to 75 percent of eligible construction costs. Enhancements such as swimming pools, sports complexes and auditoriums are not considered eligible project costs and are excluded from any grant calculations.
Currently, only those projects that address emergency needs, crowded classrooms and old buildings are being funded.
Ryan's Illinois FIRST program added $1.1 billion in state funding to the program, which originally had allocated $1.4 billion in state grant funds. Local school districts have provided more than $1.5 billion toward school construction projects in their own areas. With local matching funds, the program over time will address some $5 billion in educational facility needs in Illinois.
"This program is a partnership with local schools," Ryan said. "It responds to local needs and local initiative."
The next deadline for grant applications to the State Board of Education is April 1, 2001.