Funding for Building Expansion Provided by Governor Pritzker’s Bipartisan Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan
CARBONDALE – The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) today announced RATIO Architects will spearhead the design process for the expanded communications building on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) campus. CDB released $8,301,920 in funds in fiscal year 2020 to create a preliminary design for the Communications Building. The project’s total cost, approximately $84.7 million, is funded by Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the most robust capital plan in Illinois history and the first in nearly a decade. CDB will oversee the project’s design and construction under the protocol for state-appropriated capital projects.
“The changes in communication over the past 20 years have been monumental, and with this investment, SIUC students will not only be able to master all the new tools, but they will also be on the forefront of the next generation of change,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With this $84 million dollar investment into SIUC’s campus, made possible by our bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, current and future students will have the opportunity to receive a world class education in a state-of-the-art facility.”
“The Illinois Capital Development Board is excited to move forward with the design phase of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Communications Building. We look forward to the successful completion of the project, which will provide communication students tools they need to make their learning experience challenging, exciting and completely their own,’ said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood.
The project will remodel the 229,050 square foot building and add approximately 60,000 square feet of space to support interdisciplinary learning. In addition to the infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades in the current building, the addition will provide new classroom space, fully equipped and flexible auditorium space, laboratory rooms, digital post-production suites, and reflect the growing trend toward media convergence in a combined broadcast-print newsroom.
The addition will allow for future changes in technology through innovative design and the creation of flexible work areas. Also, the building addition will include common areas to allow for the sharing of ideas through group interaction and meeting rooms for student organizations.
“This is an important project for the SIU Carbondale campus because the Communications Building, which was constructed in 1964, has had no major renovations or additions since. Advances in technology have had a profound impact on the programs which are housed there, including cinema and photography, journalism, and radio, television, and digital media. This reconstruction will allow for future changes in technology through innovative design and the creation of flexible work areas. On behalf of the SIUC, we want to thank Governor Pritzker and his staff and our dedicated legislative delegation for helping make this opportunity possible,” said Dan Mahony, Southern Illinois University System President.
“This building will give students opportunities to learn in state-of-the-art facilities, gaining hands-on experiences that will position them for success after they graduate,” said SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin A. Lane. “All of our undergraduate students who enroll in communication-related courses will benefit from the state’s investment in their future. We are very grateful.”
“I am thankful to the State of Illinois for advancing development of the Communications Building at SIUC,” said State Senator Terri Bryant – District 58. “Communication methods and networks have changed dramatically since the facility was initially constructed, and this investment of $84 million will give SUIC a competitive advantage in attracting students, while preparing them with the tools needed to participate in our ever evolving forms of electronic entertainment and communication.”
“The investment of $84 million into the Communication program at SUIC will provide students with the forward-thinking tools and training needed to enter such a rapidly evolving career,” said State Representative Paul Jacobs – District 115. “The Rebuild Illinois capital plan is essential to upgrading and improving facilities throughout the state, and I’m grateful to have an investment of this magnitude here in our community.”
The historic Rebuild Illinois capital plan passed with bipartisan super-majorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers and state facilities like the new crime lab and veterans’ homes over the next five years, creating and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.