Funding Awarded for Higher Education in Illinois

QUINCY, Ill. — Dozens of private universities in Illinois recently discovered that they would receive millions of dollars of additional funding from the state. The funding is a result of a capital construction program that helps fund campus development for private colleges and universities.

A news release from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s office stated that the goal of the construction program is to “improve higher education in Illinois while creating thousands of construction jobs for the state’s workers.” The funding is one aspect of the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! plan, which strives to create 439,000 jobs over six years.

The construction program allotted $90 million for the 2013 fiscal year, spreading it out for numerous institutions. Aurora University received $1.6 million, North Central College in Naperville received $1.3 million, Judson University in Elgin received $744,000, Benedictine University in Lisle received $1.6 million, Midwestern University in Downers Grove received $1.5 million, the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard received $800,000, Elmhurst College received $1.5 million, and Quincy University received $886,722.

Schools such as North Central College submitted proposed construction projects to the state in 2008 and will be drawing projects from the list to decide where to apply the new funds.

Previous state-funded projects for North Central include the school’s Riverwalk Gateway and a new LEED-certified residence hall and recreational center housing 400 students.

Quincy University plans to use the funds for projects the university worked on during the past two summers such as renovating Garner Hall, Tim Weis, Vice President of Business and Finance at Quincy University, said. He stated that the university is using the additional funding as a reimbursement for the expenses of these past projects. The institution plans to replace a boiler and conduct some roof work on the institution’s north campus.

Private universities across the state have received $200 million over four years as a result of the capital construction program.