ISU Athletic Facility Improvements Head To Trustees | WGLT

ISU Athletic Facility Improvements Head To Trustees

Oct 15, 2018

Illinois State University plans to replace the lower bowl seating and add ADA compliant seats, box seating locations and a suite in Redbird Arena.

University staff said in documents prepared for Friday's Board of Trustees meeting that the existing seats date back to the 1989 construction of the arena and are worn out. Trustees will also decide whether to replace the floor in Horton Field House.

Together, both projects could cost as much as $6.8 million—$6.2 million for the arena and $600,000 for Horton, paid for by bonds. Revenue from the facilities would pay off the bond debt.

According to documents for trustees, if the board approves the projects, the University annual debt service would rise by close to $900,000 a year. Total payments on debt would top $16 million a year. ISU's total long term debt would increase to $225 million.

Annual Budget Planning

Illinois State University is asking for a 10 percent increase in state support for operations next year. The measure headed to the Board of Trustees on Friday is part of the annual planning process and has never become reality in the state budget.

But ISU staff suggested the nearly $73 million request is a reasonable step to begin to make up money lost during the state budget standoff. About $3.2 million, or roughly half the increase, would go to student financial aid. The rest of the requested hike would go to salaries for faculty and staff.

ISU trustees will also consider the annual capital project request totaling nearly $306 million. Tops on that list is an $89 million rehabilitation of Milner Library. The projects on the list have not changed for years and have never been close to funding by the legislature.

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