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SRC’s new Macomb campus expected to open in 2024

SRC Macomb-July 2022.jpg
Rich Egger
The SRC Community Outreach Center occupies about one-third of the building. The college hopes to have the rest of the former retail store renovated by the fall of 2024.

Spoon River College is still working with architects on the design for its new campus in Macomb.

The college is renovating a former retail store on East Jackson Street. So far, only the SRC Community Outreach Center has been completed. It has been there for more than a decade and occupies about one-third of the building.

It could be this fall or winter before the design is finished for the remainder of the building and the college puts the project out to bid.

President Curt Oldfield now anticipates the new campus will open in the fall of 2024.

He said the college’s board approved a bond issue for the project, and will soon begin fundraising to repay the bonds.

“We will be launching a capital campaign as we get further along and have architectural drawings to be able to share with prospective donors,” he said.

Oldfield said the estimated cost is around $16 million. He said the state will contribute a bit more than $6 million through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. The rest will come from local sources.

Oldfield said the project was delayed as the Illinois Capital Development Board mulled over the energy efficiency requirements for the building.

When SRC first applied for funding, the state told the college it would not require the LEED silver certification for the building.

Architects planned for that and SRC’s bond issue was based on those estimates when the Capital Development Board came back and said the building would need to be certified at the silver level.

“We knew that adding those environmental design changes was going to add extra expense to the building, and the (SRC) board was unable to bond for any more. So we were in that delay until the Capital Development Board made the decision to not have the building be LEED certified (at the silver level),” Oldfield said.

He said they will incorporate energy efficiencies but not at the LEED silver level.

The SRC Macomb campus is currently located near downtown in the former high school building on South Johnson Street. Oldfield said it is not yet known what might happen with the building when SRC moves out.

Contract extension for Oldfield

The SRC board agreed to extend Oldfield’s contract by one year. It now runs through the end of June 2025.

Oldfield will be paid a bit more than $146,000 this fiscal year. That’s a 2.5% raise, which is equal to what SRC’s other employees are receiving.

Oldfield said he has a couple goals for the year ahead.

One is pretty common with colleges and universities these days -- he wants to grow the school’s student enrollment and retention.

His other goal is to add more career and technical education programs.

“Looking at programs that we can establish to help reduce that time to career for students to move into the workforce at one of our local employers,” he said.

Oldfield said manufacturers throughout the college district have hiring needs, and that demand also exists in nearby Peoria.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.