*This news release was issued by the State of Illinois April 13, 2021.
University to Receive Over $118.8 Million in Funding Through Governor Pritzker’s Bi-partisan Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan
(Charleston, IL) -- The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) has selected RATIO Architects, Inc. as the preferred architectural design firm for the new science building at Eastern Illinois University. CDB will oversee the project’s design and construction in accordance with the protocol for state-appropriated projects.
Through Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan capital plan, the first in nearly a decade, over $118.8 million was appropriated to CDB for this project. The project includes the construction of an approximately 171,000 square foot science building to house Biological Sciences and Chemistry and Biochemistry departments including teaching and research laboratories and classroom space.
“Illinois is home to the best universities and research centers in the world and boasts a talented workforce that attracts companies from across the globe,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This new science building on the Eastern Illinois University campus, made possible through funding from the historic bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, will further cement the university’s place as an educational that excels in preparing talented students for the careers of tomorrow.”
“The Capital Development Board looks forward to working with RATIO Architects in the design of the new Science Building, which contains building equipment and systems to provide adequate ventilation and sound control,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood. “The building will centralize animal care facilities currently housed in other campus buildings.”
“We are beyond ecstatic to learn that the Governor has released funds for the construction of EIU’s new, cutting-edge science center,” said Eastern Illinois University President Dr. David Glassman. “I cannot overstate just how meaningful this investment will be to our entire EIU community, including our extraordinary students and devoted faculty and staff. This project will generate significant economic activity and provide much welcomed construction-related jobs during the building phase. Even after its completion, it will provide increased economic impacts for the region for years to come as we are able to attract more students to stay in Illinois for their STEM-related majors. We thank the General Assembly for its broad bipartisan support in approving the Rebuild Illinois program and for affording EIU this significant project. We are also deeply appreciative of how the Governor and his team worked to overcome past challenges in moving this critical project forward, and we are especially grateful for this administration’s enduring commitment to higher education in Illinois.”
"As Mayor of the City of Charleston, an EIU graduate and a current Biological Sciences instructor, I want to say what a blessing this investment from the state is to EIU and our entire community,” said Charleston Mayor Dr. Brandon Combs. “The new science building at EIU will allow for a state-of-the-art educational experience for our students and provide instructors more tools to teach with.”
“The selection of architect for the construction of this new state-of-the-art science facility is incredible news for Eastern Illinois University. Illinois is one of the leading research states in the nation, and investments like this in our higher education system is why we continue to attract and produce robust talent,” said State Representative Chris Miller (R – Oakland). “I look forward to seeing the benefit this addition brings to the community and EIU upon completion."
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, creating and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the six-year plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.