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$78.9 Million In Capital Funding Plan For SIUE Science Building Work

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) After more than a decade of planning and annual presentations to the state legislature, a proposal that includes a $78.9 million package to renovate the existing Science Building and construct a new science laboratory building at SIUE, was signed today by Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn. Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly passed the statewide capital funding plan last month that includes a total of $168.1 million for SIUE and SIU Carbondale.

The total statewide package, known as the Illinois Jobs Now bill is worth some $31 billion.

The SIUE project will mean jobs for the area, state-of-the art laboratories and improved facilities for students, faculty and staff. "Support for the capital funding plan was bipartisan and broad-based," said SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. "We owe a great deal of credit to our legislative leaders, local legislative delegation and Gov. Quinn.

"In addition, (SIU) President (Glenn) Poshard played a most significant role in this accomplishment, serving as a state spokesperson for higher education, while strongly advocating for SIU." Vandegrift thanked the students, faculty and staff who wrote and spoke to legislators in support of the Science Building renovations and expansion.

"This accomplishment is the result of more than 10 years of work at SIUE on the Science Building project," he said. "It's a great day for SIUE."

Renovations and an expansion of the existing facility will allow the University to attract and retain students, faculty and staff, as well as ease lab space issues and provide more opportunities for greater research initiatives. Vandegrift has said that lack of a new science building has been the "single most important factor limiting the future growth of SIUE."

While labs currently in use have been retrofitted for safety purposes, they have been deteriorating at a fast rate. Overcrowding in current labs has made it difficult for students to conduct graduate level research. In the past, Vandegrift has said that a renovated and expanded facility would enable the University to further enhance the quality education it provides its students.
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