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Construction Delay for Center for Performing Arts

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
This is what architects say the CPA will look like -- if it ever gets built.

The state received just one bid to build a Center for Performing Arts at Western Illinois University.  Scott Coker, Director of Facilities Management at WIU, said the bid came in around $5 million above cost estimates so the state will re-bid the project.

Coker said the university and the state’s Capital Development Board (CDB) hoped to receive at least four or five bids.  They’re now evaluating the process.

“The architect is going to the different bidders that were listed and received the plans to ask them why they didn’t bid,” Coker said.

“We do know that there were two bidders that came late. They missed the 2:00 p.m. (March 19) mark by 20 seconds. So we know that there were other bids out there. We don’t get to see them because they were late.”

The lone bid submitted in time came from River City in Peoria.

Coker said the CDB told WIU it must make changes to the project to try bringing down the cost. 

Coker did not know how long construction will be delayed.

“We’re trying very hard to get it moving as quickly as possible because every day it gets delayed we get escalation – things cost more,” Coker said.

WIU has waited years for the state to provide construction money. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held in April, 2011 but no construction work has been done since then. Former Governor Pat Quinn came to WIU in April of last year to announce the money would finally be released.

The CPA will be built between Browne Hall and the Corbin-Olson Residence Halls. It will include a 1,400 main theatre and two smaller theaters that seat 250 and 150.

The building will also include rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and offices for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.