OGLESBY- Phase I and II of Illinois Valley Community College’s agriculture building project were among topics covered by the board’s facilities committee Tuesday evening.
The Illinois legislature awarded Phase I of the project $150,000 Friday after the college had earlier secured nearly $165,000 from the state.
“That $315,000 is about half of what we need for Phase I – an ag storage and routine maintenance facility,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.
The building will allow students to inspect and perform minor routine maintenance on tractors, cultivators, planters and other field equipment. Phase II includes an agronomy classroom, lab and student space.
Building images were presented by IVCC and Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) architect Dominick Demonica of Chicago. In early December, the college spent about $50,000 of its required match to have a dairy barn taken down. In February, the board transferred $450,000 to a CDB trust account to secure its stake in the project.
Since its 2016 inception, the ag program has grown from 9 to 27 students. With enhanced facilities, the college can better recruit and eventually serve an estimated 1,300 district high school ag students, Corcoran said.
The facilities committee also learned IVCC received $675,000 in deferred maintenance from the state for repaving of the perimeter access road and parking lots. IVCC’s share will be about $225,000.
Corcoran credited State Rep. Lance Yednock and State Sen. Sue Rezin for helping facilitate Friday’s capital bill appropriations.
“When you assess what Sue, Lance and their colleagues accomplished in a bipartisan way in support of community colleges, you cannot help but believe our state’s future looks bright,” Corcoran said.