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State investment will fund new center at ICC

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Illinois Central College will receive $2.6 million from the state to build a new Sustainability Center on the college's East Peoria campus.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the award during a news conference Tuesday in the Student Center at ICC.

Quinn said education needs to start with early childhood and continue through college and that having a strong community college system in the best interest of the state.

"We have to have a lifelong learning society. We have to continue to invest in education in Illinois," Quinn said before a room filled with students and faculty.

In announcing the 24,000 square-foot facility, Quinn said that type of investment by the state is what is needed to keep the community college system strong and growing. He said it will house college programs that focus on sustainability, including research on alternative energy sources going forward.

ICC President John Erwin said the building will be located near ICC's entrance off U.S. Route 24 and among the programs that will be housed there are the college's heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) program, architecture, and other programs affiliated with sustainability.

"Another component of the new building will be a community resource center in which local residents can come to learn about green programs and sustainability practices," Erwin said.

During the news conference Quinn also said he plans for the state to increase its funding for the Monetary Awards Program (MAP), which is the state's college financial aid program. He said the $50 million increase in MAP funding would support more students in need. The increase in MAP funding would double the state's MAP investment over the next five years and is estimated to provide 21,000 more students with an opportunity to attend college.

"We want to make sure everyone who needs help can get it," Quinn said.

He further noted that the budget plan he has outlined to the Illinois General Assembly promotes even more funding for community colleges. Quinn noted a saying he once heard ̶ that there are movers and shakers and there are the moved and the shaken, and the difference between them is a good education.

"We must continue to offer a good education in Illinois," he said.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).