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Miller Park Zoo gets state grant to update Katthoefer building

Zoo entrance
Staff
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WGLT
The Katthoefer Animal Building at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington will be renovated with the help of a $750,000 state grant.

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington is receiving a $750,000 state grant that will pay for basement renovation and small exhibits at the Katthoefer Animal Building.

The grant, part of $19.7 million in capital investments the state is making in 36 museums, is the maximum grant amount available, and the state said such matching funds are often required based on attendance.

“Museums are an important economic driver and point of pride in communities throughout Illinois,” said Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “Providing funding for capital improvements and exciting new exhibits helps to create jobs, attract more visitors, and boost local tourism.”

The investments are made possible through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, funded by the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program.

“Rebuilding Illinois means investing in all types of infrastructure that improve communities and the quality of life for local residents. That includes an investment in the museums that protect our cultural heritage and offer unique programs and events for visitors to enjoy," said Gov. JB Pritzker.

Other grant recipients in central Illinois include:

  • Champaign County Forest Preserve District, Museum of the Grand Prairie, Discovery Garden – $726,900
  • Rock Island County Forest Preserve District, Niabi Zoo Prairie Dog Exhibit – $436,100
  • City of Rock Island, Quad City Botanical Center Children’s Garden Phase III – $750,000
  • Springfield and Central Illinois African History Museum (City of Springfield), African American History Museum expansion – $662,545
  • City of Springfield, Kidzeum STEAM Center – $355,400
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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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