Gov. Pritzker Celebrates $434 Million Investment in Higher Education Institutions
CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker today joined leaders from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) at an event announcing a $33.5 million investment at four universities, bringing the total investment in deferred maintenance projects for higher education institutions across the state to $434 million. These new projects will take place at UIC, Western Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The $434 million investment encompasses 149 total deferred maintenance projects in progress across the state, all made possible by Rebuild Illinois, Governor Pritzker's bipartisan capital plan. Deferred maintenance, which typically include critical repairs and infrastructure upgrades, are an important part of building sustainability and are overseen by the Illinois Capital Development Board.
"Right now, Illinois has over $430 million worth of active projects addressing long-delayed construction needs at our colleges and universities alone - all made possible by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Smoothing sidewalks, fixing leaky pipes, repairing sewage lines and exteriors, replacing broken windows - these are the kind of upgrades that ensure students have a modern learning experience and can feel proud of the schools they attend."
The new renovations at UIC include necessary maintenance at the College of Medicine East Tower repairing a damaged façade. The work consists of repairing approximately 20,404 square feet of brick masonry, replacement of limestone masonry on windows, installation of structural steel, and replacing roof membranes. The work will also address mortar joints, sealants, lateral supports, and other critical issues in need of repair. Completed in 1937, the building is one of the most architecturally distinguished buildings on UIC's historic medical campus.
"For nearly 140 years, our College of Medicine has served the people of Illinois by training the doctors and scientists that make groundbreaking health care discoveries and deliver patient-centered care to our communities," said UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Dr. Robert Barish. "We are proud to offer our medical students, residents and fellows access to world-class faculty and clinical care experiences, and now an improved campus experience, thanks to this generous infrastructure investment from the State."
The three other newly-announced projects include exterior repairs and roof replacement at Western Illinois University, repairing the roofs at the Music Building and Gabel Hall at Northern Illinois University, and replacing the electrical feeder at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Ninety-four of the 149 deferred maintenance projects are taking place at community colleges and include projects for every City College of Chicago. The other 55 are taking place at four-year universities, and include projects at Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern, and Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, University of Illinois Springfield, Chicago State, Governor's State, and Illinois State University.
"Deferred maintenance projects are an important part of keeping our State facilities up-to-date, sustainable, and accessible, ensuring they meet the growing needs of the populations they serve," said Jim Underwood, Director of the Capital Development Board. "We are proud to work with the University of Illinois Chicago, as well as various higher education institutions across the state, to complete these important projects."
Governor Pritzker's bipartisan 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 jobs and revitalizing local economies across the state.