McKendree gets $1.2 million state grant

News-DemocratAugust 1, 2013 

McKendree University in Lebanon has received a $1.2 million state grant for infrastructure improvements.

The cash is part of $90 million set aside this fiscal year for the Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program designed to address the needs of the state's private colleges and universities.

"Private universities like McKendree provide a valuable service to Illinois, and this grant will help them address critical needs and stay competitive," Gov. Pat Quinn said.

McKendree can use the $1,286,403 grant for campus infrastructure improvements.

"The funds money will pay for ongoing improvements to our residence halls -- but no new construction," said McKendree senior vice president Victoria Dowling. "We continue to be grateful for the release of funds by the state of Illinois."

So far under the Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program, private universities have received $200 million to address their capital needs, according to state records.

McKendree has made a big push in recent years to improve housing options for its students.

In 2011, the school opened two new dorm buildings on at a cost of $16 million. The buildings total 75,000 square feet house up to 196 students. They include a spacious lounge called the Great Room with floor to ceiling windows and comfy sofas surrounding a gas fireplace. There is an on-site fitness center and wireless Internet is available throughout the buildings.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.

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