WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Cost Rising for New SRC Campus in Macomb

May 28, 2012

The State of Illinois has yet to provide funding to help Spoon River College build its new campus in Macomb, and the longer it takes the more expensive the project becomes.

Brett Stoller, SRC Vice President of Administrative Services, said both the state and the college will have to come up with more money.

“The total project goes up 2.7% (per year), and so our 25% share of that automatically goes up also,” Stoller said.

The estimated cost is now $16,278,800.  SRC is asking the state for $12,209,200 and will provide a local match of $4,069,600.

Stoller said the local matching money could come from fundraising through the SRC foundation, issuing bonds, or using money the college already has in the bank.

He said the campus is not even in the top 50 on the state's capital projects list.

SRC Board of Trustees Vice Chair Dave Maguire is not holding his breath waiting for the state to provide money.

“If you're waiting for state dollars you're going to be waiting for a very long time,” Maguire said. “I think that we're going to be looking at this facility expansion as a board and we're going to be looking at other sources of revenue to make that happen.”

SRC wants to renovate a former furniture store at 2500 East Jackson St.  So far, just a fraction of the building has been converted.

“The entire building is 81,000 square feet. We've renovated 15,000 square feet so far so we have another 66,000 square feet,” Stoller said. “So our hope is that we could renovate that side of the building and then be able to move all of our operations from Johnson Street (the current campus) to out here.”

The section already renovated is for the SRC Community Outreach Center, where seminars, town hall meetings, news conferences, and other events are held.

The current campus is housed in the former Macomb High School building.  Parking is limited and there are other challenges associated with the building, which is some 100 years old.