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ISU Trustees To Vote On Budget, Major Project Requests

Illinois State University
A $86.9 million renovation is on Illinois State's wish list of major capital projects.

Illinois State’s Board of Trustees will decide Friday how much money to ask for from Springfield in next year’s budget, even as the university becomes less and less reliant on state funding.

Trustees will first formally approve ISU’s $426.8 million operating budget for the fiscal year already underway. A tentative version of ISU’s budget was approved in May, but a final version couldn't be passed until after state lawmakers ended their historic impasse in July.

The budget includes a $7.2 million cut in state funding, bringing the state’s share of ISU’s overall budget down to just 15.2 percent, officials said. Meanwhile, ISU’s accumulated backlog of deferred maintenance—projects delayed to save money—now stands at $230 million, officials said.

Trustees on Friday will also look ahead to next year’s budget, which begins July 1. They’ll vote on a proposal to ask lawmakers for $65 million in funding—same as this year—plus the $51.3 million that ISU missed out on in 2016 due to partial state funding, according to a report provided to trustees.

The budget request will include $2.5 million in deferred maintenance funds, covering just 1 percent of the total backlog.

Meanwhile, trustees will decide whether to send lawmakers the same $297 million wish list of major capital projects as they did last year. Those capital projects were not funded but are still priorities for ISU.

Projects on ISU’s capital wish list include a $86.9 million renovation of Milner Library, new buildings for Metcalf and University High lab schools, and a new building for Mennonite College of Nursing.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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