GILLESPIE – October 23, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today highlighted more than $18.9 million in state funding to help build a new energy efficient and environmentally friendly elementary school in Gillespie. The new school will replace one that was condemned due to mine subsidence damage. The funding was provided through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction plan and will serve more than 1,000 students and create approximately 175 construction jobs.
“The students who attended the Benld Elementary School have spent more than a year learning in small, temporary classrooms because their school is unsafe,” said Governor Quinn. “This capital funding will ensure that students in Gillespie, central Illinois and all over the state can to go to school every day in buildings that are clean and safe – something all of our children deserve.”
The state grant of $18.96 million will be matched by a local share of $6.32 million. Earlier this week, Governor Quinn announced that 18 Illinois school districts statewide will receive a total of more than $270 million from Illinois Jobs Now!. The funding will provide vital classroom space while creating approximately 3,700 construction jobs statewide. In central Illinois, Warrensburg-Latham Community Unit School District 11 will also receive over $10.3 million for classroom additions.
The 18 districts statewide were approved for fiscal year 2010 funding after their projects were certified by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Capital Development Board. The funding will allow districts to build new schools and classroom additions. Other improvements will include renovations to existing classrooms and upgrades to aging facilities. The grants will also allow several districts to recover from damage resulting from natural disasters, including flooding. The capital funding, combined with local dollars, will allow school districts to start projects totaling more than $527.7 million.
Governor Quinn also highlighted that Illinois’ unemployment rate fell again in September, countering the national trend. The seasonally adjusted rate fell 0.2 points to 9.9 percent in September, while the national unemployment rate remained unchanged. Illinois has led the Midwest with 50,700 new jobs added this year.