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Fine Arts Project Stall Costly To ISU

Illinois State University
The Centennial West and East buildings and CVA on the Illinois State campus, where many fine arts students take courses.

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz told lawmakers Thursday that money is being wasted on the old College of Fine Arts building.
A new facility was approved nine years ago, but lawmakers never appropriated construction funding.

"In the meantime, we have spent $6 million over the course of the last few years in fixing problems in that facility. It's $6 million that literally and figuratively (went) down the drain because of the plumbing issues most recently," said Dietz.

Dietz said during a House Higher Education Appropriations Committee hearing that planning and design has been done, so the project is shovel ready.

Dietz said he hopes the construction money for the $54 million project will be released at some point.

"I think it would ultimately save money in allowing us to build that building because the money that we are spending right now on that old building really is not helping us. It is really impacting the quality of education that our students in the College of Fine Arts are receiving," said Dietz.

The General Assembly approved the $54 million College of Fine Arts project in 2009, but have never gone beyond planning and design appropriations.

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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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