Campus Connection.

February 25, 2005 Volume 20, Number 12

Governor’s Budget Supports Western-Quad Cities Capital, Current Operating Level

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich supported increased capital funding for the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Riverfront Campus and level funding for the University’s FY2006 operating budget in his state budget message Feb. 16.

The Governor did not include construction funds for the Performing Arts Center on Western’s Macomb campus but did recommend capital renewal funding to support maintenance of existing University facilities. Planning funds of $4 million for the PAC, which were included in the FY05 current budget year, have not been released.

The Governor recommended an FY2006 operating budget for Western of $101,000,300, compared to the current FY2005 operating budget of $97,714,100. State resources would stay level at $56.39 million while an increase of $3.3 million is anticipated in University income funds. The IBHE had recommended a budget with an additional $900,000 in state resources to support faculty and staff salary increases and the freshman First Year Experience program.

Planning funds of $2,399,000 to renovate the 60,000-square-foot former John Deere Tech Center on River Drive in Moline were included in the FY2006 recommendations by the Governor and IBHE. Western has conducted classes in the Quad Cities for more than 25 years and serves more than 1,400 students in a facility on John Deere Road in Moline and in rented space in other facilities. The current building was opened in 1997 and by 1998 the University was renting space to meet additional course demand. The FY2006 allocation also includes funds for improvements at the current WIU-QC facility. The total cost of development of the facility on the Riverfront campus is $15.2 million, including a prior allocation of $200,000 and a future allocation of $12.6 million.

Capital IBHE recommendations included $27,371,500 for the first phase of construction of a 110,000-square-foot performing arts center with a 1,900-seat proscenium theatre auditorium, a 300-seat thrust stage and a 150-seat studio theatre for student convocations, College of Fine Arts and Communication recitals, Bureau of Cultural Affairs performing arts series events, lectures, graduation ceremonies and local arts and civic functions. The total cost of the facility to be located in the southwest quadrant of campus is $57 million, including the prior allocation of $4 million for planning (not yet released) and a future allocation of $25.63 million.

The Governor recommended $1.18 million for capital renewal projects, repair and maintenance funding at Western, compared to the IBHE recommendation of $1.54 million.

Recommendations by the Governor are submitted to the Illinois General Assembly for action during the 2005 legislative session.


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