CHICAGO – Blagojevich administration officials, including Capital Development Board Chairman Anthony Licata, today joined 46th Ward Alderman Helen Shiller and officials from the City Colleges of Chicago to break ground on a new $55 million student services center and parking structure at Harry S Truman College. The Larry McKeon Administrative Building, named after the late State Representative whose vision and efforts made the construction possible, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010.
“At a school named after our 33rd President, we will soon have a building bearing the name of another courageous, dedicated public servant,” said Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. “Larry McKeon worked hard to make sure his dream of this new facility at Truman College facility would become a reality. Today marks the realization of that dream.”
The McKeon Administrative Building will allow the college to consolidate student services, putting Registration, Admissions and Advising, Financial Aid, Tutoring, Career Planning and Placement, and other services under one roof. Consolidating student services is also expected to improve retention and will provide a larger, more centralized and comfortable space for student academic and cultural clubs. The attached parking deck will provide 1,100 clean, well-lit parking spaces for faculty, staff and students as well as relieve parking congestion in the neighborhood. The project will also free up 75,000 square feet of space in the college’s existing building for workforce training and career development programs.
“Truman College is among the most well attended colleges in the State of Illinois,” said Alderman Shiller. “It has been one of the most effective vehicles for opening doors for people in the community and Chicago and it’s wonderful to be able to expand on that, to have Truman be part of all the positive changes taking place in the community.”
The $55 million project includes $14.79 million from the State of Illinois and $30.21 million from the City of Chicago. The Wilson Yard Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District also assisted with $10 million in funding. Construction will begin September 1 and will be overseen by the Capital Development Board (CDB), which manages all state-funded construction projects. Rep. McKeon, who passed away in May, worked on the project for several years and secured the initial funding from the state that allowed it to go forward.
“We owe Larry McKeon a great debt,” said Truman College Interim President Lynn Walker. “Were it not for him, the college would not be able to grow and provide the kinds of academic, workforce training, and career programs that our students and our community need. He saw a great future for this institution and I hope that by naming the building in his honor, we can, in some small way, do honor to that vision.”
"The Capital Development Board is proud to partner with Truman College as they continue their leadership role in developing programs to train today's workers,” said CDB Chairman Anthony Licata. “With our construction coordination and Truman's vision for the future, the new McKeon Building will be a source of pride for Chicago."
Truman College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, is a community college offering two-year transfer and career occupational degree programs. The college is home to the state’s oldest two-year-degree Nursing program and its only two-year-degree Biotechnology program. Truman was built in Uptown in 1976 to serve Chicago’s diverse northeast side. The more than 23,000 students attending the college annually come from 140 countries and speak 56 languages.