Illinois State University’s Board of Trustees will vote this week on a proposal to lease space in the planned Trail East building to open a small-business incubator.
The university’s Board of Trustees will consider the plan on Friday at its regular quarterly meeting. The board will also consider a $1.1 million data storage upgrade.
The proposed incubator is one of several planned uses for the building that’s scheduled to open in late 2020. It’s also expected to include a food hall, the architectural and design firm Farnsworth Group, Bloomington-based Afni and apartments.
ISU wants to lease 10,400 square feet to support and facilitate small business development, according to documents the university has posted online.
Startup companies would get low-cost office space, mentoring help and other services from the university.
ISU would enter into a five-year, $840,000 agreement with developer Bush Construction. The university would also cover about $110,000 annually in operational costs.
ISU officials are seeking grant funding to cover some of those costs, according to the resolution trustees will consider.
The university previously hosted the Illinois Small Business Development Center, but it closed in 2016 due to a lack of state funding during a state budget impasse. Illinois Wesleyan University has since opened the Illinois Small Business Development Center of McLean County.
ISU trustees will consider a plan to upgrade the university’s data storage capabilities.
University officials say ISU’s data storage equipment no longer meets the campus’ needs and likely only has about two years left and can’t be expanded after Aug. 1.
ISU officials said new hardware would increase online reliability, efficiency and security.
“The move to solid-state drives will reduce the risk of mechanical disk failure and reduce power needs for cooling,” the resolution states.
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