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West College Avenue and ISU nursing college projects to receive federal funding

architectural rendering
Illinois State University
An architectural rendering of a two-story building to house a simulation lab for Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University.

Two projects in Normal are getting financial help from Congress.

The money is going toward rehabilitating West College Avenue and building a new facility for the Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing. The effort was led by Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

The work on West College Avenue is for rehab work and to improve accessibility by providing more space for pedestrians and bicyclists, at a cost of $1.5 million.

The ISU Mennonite College of Nursing is being awarded $1 million for a simulation lab. The new $18 million building addition that's being constructed in the 400 block of West Locust Street will be paid for mostly through a combination of existing ISU funds and expected borrowing that is yet to be determined, said university spokesperson Eric Jome.

He added ISU expects to open the new lab prior to the fall 2024 semester.

The two projects are part of a $178 million package to aid the completion of a wide variety of projects across Illinois, said Duckworth. The bills still await U.S. House approval before they are finalized.

“I’m pleased that these draft bills include investments in important projects that I advocated for that could help clean up our water, improve our state’s infrastructure, expand health care access, make our streets and communities safer, create jobs and tackle environmental injustice issues that are facing so many folks across Illinois,” said Duckworth.

Carle Eureka Hospital also is receiving money. It will get $163,000 that will go toward telemedicine provider workstations, mobile telemedicine carts and additional equipment for specialty and mental health care.

Corrected: August 9, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
This story has been corrected to indicate the scheduled completion of the ISU College of Nursing Simulation Lab.
Jack Podlesnik is a reporter and announcer at WGLT. He joined the station in 2021.
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