ROCKFORD – November 9, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today visited Rock Valley College to announce the construction of a new Arts Instructional Center that will house classrooms, laboratories and an auditorium. The funding is part of the Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan, a program which will revive the state’s ailing economy by creating and retaining over 439,000 jobs over the next six years.
“Strong community colleges are vital to Illinois’ education system and workforce development,” said Governor Quinn. “Thanks to Illinois Jobs Now!, we can fund projects like Rock Valley’s new Arts Center that will bring jobs to the Rockford, strengthen our education system and revitalize our economy.”
The funding provides for the construction of an approximately 113,000 square foot facility for the music, visual arts, and drama programs at Rock Valley College. The new facility will accommodate high enrollment growth in these programs and include classroom, laboratory, assembly and exhibition space. Currently, overcrowded arts programs are housed in buildings throughout campus, including a 100-year-old barn used by the drama program.
“The Arts Instructional Center will enhance the campus and programs at Rock Valley College, providing a better learning environment for fine arts programs at the school,” said Jim Riemer, executive director of the Capital Development Board (CDB), which will administer the project. “This Illinois Jobs Now! project will create jobs during its construction and help students find interesting and important careers once it is complete.”
The project is expected to cost $48.7 million, which includes $26.7 million in the Illinois Jobs Now! plan.
“It’s important to support our community colleges, which see enrollment increases during economic downturns like the one we are currently experiencing,” Governor Quinn said. “Schools like Rock Valley educate and train our workforce for the 21st century, ensuring Illinois’ long-term edge in the global marketplace.”
The Governor was joined at Rock Valley College by college president Dr. Jack Becherer, CDB Executive Director Riemer and Rep. Dave Winters.