Campus Connection

News for the WIU Community September 15, 2006   Vol. 22 No. 3

Governor Supports Capital Bill to Provide $14 Million for WIU-QC

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich reemphasized the need for a comprehensive capital bill that will support important higher education projects across Illinois, including approximately $14 million for Western’s Quad Cities Riverfront campus in Moline, which he visited Sept. 7.

In January, the Governor announced $2.4 million in planning funds for a major expansion project that will eventually allow the school to grow into a comprehensive public university for the region. This will more than double the number of students it serves in the Quad Cities—from 1,300 to more than 3,000.

“There is currently no comprehensive public university in Northwest Illinois. Just as people shouldn’t have to leave Illinois in search of quality, affordable health care, they shouldn’t have to leave the state in search of a quality, affordable education. WIU’s Quad Cities Riverfront Campus means more students will be studying here in Illinois. Our elected leaders must not put politics before critical investments in higher education that will prepare our young people for better jobs with better futures,” Blagojevich said.

The new riverfront campus, which will be located on 20 acres of land donated by Deere & Company, will focus on high-tech education. The campus will specialize in technology-oriented, business, health care-related and education disciplines, in addition to offering an MBA program and other programs that meet identified needs. The City of Moline will also be revitalizing the area surrounding the new campus into an Urban Technology Corridor. Adjacent to the WIU Riverfront campus site is a vacant industrial warehouse site and underutilized property that will be redeveloped into a Technology Transfer Center, which will be formed to advance local research into business development opportunities and other development.

The governor previously awarded $2.4 million in Opportunity Returns planning funds, which will be used to complete the planning and design of the campus. After the completion of the first building for business and technology programs, the University hopes to also complete the construction of two new buildings to accommodate additional students.

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