Also Announces New Funding Hundreds More Jobs to Result from Administration’s Announcement of $38 Million in Capital Funding for Phase II of Moline Campus Expansion
“Investing in higher education is one of the best investments a state can make because jobs follow brainpower,” Governor Quinn said. “The Riverfront Campus will help create jobs now and help students and communities by creating economic and job opportunities for generations to come.”
The $18.4 million “Building One project” transformed the former John Deere Technical Center, donated to WIU by the John Deere Corporation, into the new Riverfront Campus. The two-story, 60,300-square-foot energy-efficient and environmentally friendly building will be submitted for a LEED Silver designation and includes new classrooms, instructional and computer laboratories, offices, faculty and student lounges, and a reception and work area. The project was supported by a $12.5 million investment from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and created approximately 125 construction jobs. It was administered by the Capital Development Board, which oversees state-funded, non-road construction projects.
Despite having a regional population of more than 350,000 people, WIU-Quad Cities is the only public university in northwestern Illinois. The expansion is expected to generate a construction impact in excess of $125 million and support more than 100 permanent new jobs at WIU-Quad Cities.
“We are the only public university in the Quad Cities, and today’s announcement for Phase II of the Riverfront Campus means expanded public higher education opportunities for the residents of the region,” said WIU President Jack Thomas. “We remain committed to providing outstanding educational experience to the Quad Cities and we are excited about the prospect of moving forward with Phase 2 of the Riverfront Campus.”
Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $30 billion program is expected to create 439,000 construction jobs.