After years of uncertainty as result of the budget impasse, universities are feeling some relief with the recent approval of the state budget.

For Illinois State University this means some “wish list” projects are one step closer to becoming a reality. The College of Fine Arts complex, which has been in operation for more than 50 years, is in need of major renovations. This proposal was introduced nearly a decade ago, but has been on the back burner until now.

Although the Illinois House has approved $61.9 million for the renovations for the Fine Arts complex, there is no exact time frame for when the project will officially commence. The renovations will include revamping of the Centennial East and West as well as creating modern studios and classrooms to bring the building back to the 21st century.

Milner Library is another campus building that the university has been pushing for funding. With the approval of $89.2 million for this project, the university is able to check yet another thing off the list.

“We are happy that higher education is being considered a priority again,” said Director of Media Relations Eric Jome. “We are feeling optimistic about the recent budget approval because it allows us to know where we stand based on a solid number, instead of leaving us wondering.”

The House also approved $40.4 million in funds to go towards miscellaneous maintenance and repairs that have not been fully addressed for years.

A return to stability in funding and $69.6 million in yearly state appropriations, a 5 percent increase over last year, is good news for the university.

GRACE BARBIC is the News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter at @gracebarbic

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