FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                June  20, 2002

Contact: Cheryl Peck, (217) 206-6716


Fully funded UIS classroom building means construction to begin 

SPRINGFIELD – University of Illinois at Springfield administrators and faculty expressed joy and gratitude at the news that the Illinois General Assembly has approved a budget  that provides the remaining $15 million needed to begin construction of the new UIS Classroom Building.

Half of the cost of the $30 million building was appropriated last year and released to the U of I in the spring of 2001 so UIS could begin planning. As a result, UIS has the building designed and U of I Board of Trustees approval to proceed. The other half of the funding - $15 million – was needed in this year’s budget in order to bid the project and break ground.

“We are deeply grateful to Governor Ryan and the General Assembly for making this a reality for UIS,” said Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen. “They made a commitment to us last year when they approved half the funding needed. They said to be patient, and they would keep their word to help UIS move forward. They did, despite one of the most difficult budget years in Illinois history. I would like to assure them that they have made an investment in Illinois education that will pay off for countless generations.”

Ringeisen said U of I President James Stukel and the Board of Trustees made sure the classroom building remained a priority.

“The building was ranked extremely high on both the U of I and the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s priority list of capital projects,” said Ringeisen. “Everyone involved had the same vision for this campus as we did. They have advocated for this project for more than two years.”

Ringeisen said the new building is the most exciting development at UIS since the arrival of the Capital Scholars freshmen this past fall.

  “You simply cannot overstate the significance of this building to our campus,” said Ringeisen. “It will be the primary classroom building, the first point of welcome for prospective students, the largest and most technically advanced building we have, and, without a doubt, the hub and heart of UIS.”

The building is 125,175 gross square feet and will be located at the southeast edge of the campus’ north quadrangle, adjacent to the Public Affairs Center and Sangamon Auditorium and next door to Lincoln Residence Hall. The building will house high-tech classrooms, instructional labs, lecture halls, computer rooms, faculty and staff office space, and student gathering areas. The Admissions and Records offices will occupy a large space on the first floor and serve as the campus’ “front door,” welcoming prospective students and their families to UIS.

The building will consolidate many offices and classrooms currently housed in “temporary buildings” that are almost 30 years old. The building is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2004.  A date for the ground breaking will be announced soon.