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|Spoon River College Project Funded by Capital Bill
|Part of the $29 billion capital construction program approved by the Illinois legislature includes a multi-purpose building for the Spoon River College Canton campus. The capital bill, HB 312, included $4,027,100 for the project.
"We've been waiting a long time for this good news," said Spoon River College Trustee Betty Taylor. "This facility was part of the original design for the Canton campus, but had to be cut out because of budget constraints at the time."
The Spoon River College Canton campus was constructed in 1972 with two original buildings, Taylor Hall and Centers Building. In 1974, the State of Illinois authorized the construction of Engle Hall and the VOTEC building. Since that time, the college has rented auditoriums and gymnasiums at area school districts to hold events and activities such as commencements and basketball games. Without its own facility, the college has not been able to offer students a physical education curriculum.
Two years ago, the college's board of trustees assembled an Athletic Task Force composed of community members and college staff to take a critical look at the college's athletic and student life programs. The task force then recommended to the board that the administration enhance the college's academic and athletic programs, and that a multi-purpose facility needed to be built on the Canton campus in order for either to be successful.
The multi-purpose building was included in a long-range plan for new academic, student, and athletic programs presented to the Spoon River College Board of Trustees in March. The plan includes a facility that will serve as a laboratory/classroom for new academic programs and will enhance existing programs and student activities. Beginning this fall, the college is moving forward with new academic programs in the areas of Fitness and Training; Sports and Recreation Management; and Gerontology.
HB 312, the capital bill, passed the Senate as did the revenue package to accompany the capital bill, HB 255. The bills then passed the House. The capital bill includes $357.6 million in funding for the community college system. It includes the first 15 projects from the community college RAMP list and $134.4 million of temporary facilities funding. The Spoon River College multi-purpose building is on the temporary facilities funding list. The bill is now on the governor's desk for approval.
"We realize that this is not yet a done deal," said Taylor. "However, we are hopeful that this action by the legislature represents the fulfillment of a long-awaited dream for the college, our students, and the community."
Spoon River College is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and along with its campus in Canton, the college operates a campus in Macomb, attendance centers in Havana and Rushville and a Technology Learning Center in the Opera House on the Canton Square.
(Submitted by Spoon River College)
|05 24 09 by Newsroom
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