Governor Quinn Invests in Western Illinois Colleges

July  29, 2013

The state will help improve the campuses of three private colleges in Western Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn today (Mon) announced three million dollars in grants for Augustana, Knox, and Monmouth colleges for various projects.

Quinn said the grants are funded by the Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program, which pays for infrastructure projects across the state. Investing in college campuses not only benefits students, but also creates jobs.

"This is from our capital account that's seperate from the general revenue of our state," said Quinn. "And about four years ago, we passed a number of fees, as well as closing loopholes, as well as using some of the money from other sources of income in order to fund the bonds for this program."

Augustana College today received $1.3 million , which will help pay for the renovation of Old Main and construction of the Center for Student Life.

College president Steve Bahls says the investment by the state helps to encourage alumni and other donors to contribute to these expensive projects.

"We knew this money was coming when we started the construction project. We didn't know when," said Bahls. "And the governor is announcing the dream of receiving this money is now a reality.

Knox College will receive more than 900-thousand dollars for work on Old Main, the student union, and center for fine arts. Monmouth will also receive about 900-thousand dollars to fund some of its campus building projects. The Jobs Now Capital construction program was passed in 2009, and since then has provided nearly 200 million dollars to private colleges in Illinois.