Surrounded by ISU students, faculty and stakeholders, Governor JB Pritzker recently announced that the state is moving forward with a $62 million project to create an integrated fine arts complex at Illinois State University, through a combination of renovation, demolition and new construction.
Funding to restart this project was made possible as a result of the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the most robust capital plan in Illinois history and the first in nearly a decade.
“With this investment, we’re giving ISU’s current and future students a world-class education in a world-class facility — and we’re giving students the tools to succeed,” said Governor JB Pritzker.
“When it’s done, this 67,000 square foot facility will build on ISU’s strengths in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts, giving students and professors the chance to learn together across disciplines in collaborative, properly-equipped spaces. Because of Rebuild Illinois, in addition to the Fine Arts complex, Redbirds will see renewed investment all across campus. Our capital plan also includes $90 million for a multi-phased rehabilitation of Milner Library, as well as $40 million for general repairs and renewal projects.”
The project includes major renovations to decades-old facilities, demolition of the Centennial West building, and multiple building additions within the fine arts complex for music, theater, dance, visual arts and classroom space totaling 67,000 square feet.
Most of the current buildings used for training in the fine arts complex are not designed for their current use and require frequent repair to keep them safe and functional. The Centennial buildings were built in 1959 and the Center for Visual Arts was built in 1973.
During today’s event, the Governor also announced ISU’s Milner Library will receive $89,205,000 through Rebuild Illinois for a multi-phased rehabilitation project. The funding will overhaul core areas of the library with new construction of study areas, book stacks, and library processing and support spaces.
Also underway at ISU are much needed maintenance repairs, totaling $5.3 million in state funds, including more than $3 million to renovate mechanical and plumbing systems at three buildings and $2.3 million for roof replacement.
The historic Rebuild Illinois capital plan passed with bipartisan supermajorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers and state facilities over the next six years, creating and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.