Chicago—Governor George H. Ryan today joined Senate Minority Leader Emil Jones, Senator Donne Trotter, Representative Constance Howard and officials with Chicago State University to break ground on a new CSU Convocation Center. The new $31.4 million convocation center will be named for longtime Chicago State University supporters, Emil and Patricia Jones.
“I can think of no better tribute to Emil and his late, beautiful wife Patricia,” Governor Ryan said. “Making this campus a world-class university has been a goal of Emil’s for a long time. We have worked together in a bipartisan fashion to get things done. Our first priority, we’ve both agreed over the years, has been education.”
The State of Illinois is investing $31.4 million, most of which comes from Illinois FIRST, to build the new Chicago State facility that is expected to be complete in summer 2004.
The Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center will be 137,000 square feet with seating for up to 7,000. The state of the art facility will be available for convocations, intramural athletic events, other formal and informal university functions, as well as serving as a significant cultural center for Chicago’s Southside.
In recent years, through the leadership of Governor Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Emil Jones, Chicago State has received $11 million for renovating the multi-purpose Building K, $35 million for a new Library that will include the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, as well as more than $1.7 million for a dozen other Illinois FIRST projects.