Surrounded by stakeholders and faculty and students, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday the release of $8.3 million to begin renovation and expansion of the Communications Building at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The funding will begin the design phase for the estimated $83 million project to build a state-of-the art Communications Building. Funding is included in the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the largest capital plan in Illinois history and the first in nearly a decade.
“I’m so proud to announce that we are launching the renovation and expansion of the Communications Building here at SIUC,” said Pritzker. “This state-of-the-art facility will train thousands of students for jobs in media and communications with the best equipment and facilities we can provide. The students who learn at this facility won’t just be prepared to meet the needs of the media industry of the future — they’ll be prepared to lead it into its next phase, prioritizing the values that led them to the field in the first place.”
The project will extensively 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 university received $4.3 million in planning funds for the project in fiscal year 2010. The building, constructed in 1964, currently houses the College of Mass Communications and Media Arts as well as theater and speech communications, WSIU and the Daily Egyptian student newspaper.
The historic Rebuild Illinois capital plan passed with bipartisan supermajorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers and broadband 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.
SIU is also undertaking $3.1 million in state-funded maintenance repairs on campus, including $1.25 million for roof repairs and $1.85 million to replace water lines that range in age from 40 to 100 years old.
PHOTO: The Communications Building was constructed in 1964 to accommodate the programs of the College of Communications and Fine Arts and their growing technical needs as well as increased enrollment. This project will provide an addition to the existing Communications Building of approximately 60,000 square feet and provide additional infrastructure improvements as well as extensive remodeling to the existing building, equipment upgrades, and technology enhancements. The addition would 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. SIUC photo