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ISU trustees approve more work for Watterson Towers

Watterson Towers
Watterson Towers at Illinois State University.

Illinois State University trustees on Friday approved an additional $700,000 in work at the 28-story Watterson Towers residence hall.

According to meeting documents, flooring in the 25 student lounges was last updated in 2009 and is "well past its useful life;" trustees unanimously approved a two-part project to replace that flooring by summer 2024.

The up-to$700,000 project is funded by university housing reserves.

The board of trustees also approved a $2 million increase in an-already underway project designed to improve the largest dining hall on campus.

Trustees voted in late 2021 on a $5 million overhaul of the facility that is estimated to serve around 8,000 meals per day; that work began earlier this year.

ISU president Terri Goss Kinzy said Friday that "unexpected delays and unforeseen circumstances" resulted in some work being delayed until this month's holiday break and had "exhaust(ed) the total project contingency."

Trustees approved the $2 million increase for the project that is expected to be finished by Aug. 11, 2023. Funding is coming from dining reserves, according to board materials.

The votes on Friday on improvements to Watterson Towers come about two months after trustees approved an allocation of $15 million in repairs to the residence hall's eight elevators.

In other action, trustees also:

  • Name a forthcoming indoor hitting and pitching structure at Redbird Field after ISU alumnus and baseball standout Paul DeJong. DeJong graduated in 2015 and was a fourth-round selection in the MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Named the Children's Discovery Garden at the ISU Horticulture Center on Raab Road after Betty Norris Fairchild, an alumnus who married the son of a former ISU president. Her children have dedicated funds from her estate to support the garden's maintenance and operations "in perpetuity."
Lyndsay Jones is a reporter at WGLT. She joined the station in 2021. You can reach her at lljone3@ilstu.edu.