University News

IBHE Approves Thompson, Union Projects

February 9, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has approved Western Illinois University's projects request to renovate Thompson Hall and begin phase one of the University Union renovation.

Western's Board of Trustees recently approved issuing Auxiliary Facilities Revenues Bonds for the non-instructional capital projects at its Dec. 16 meeting.

The project in Thompson Hall, which was built in 1969, will cost an estimated $20 million. The renovation includes asbestos abatement, and replacing exterior siding, all interior and exterior walls, mechanical systems, selected lighting, interior finishes and furniture. According to Gary Biller, vice president for student services, the University will use revenue bonds and room and board charges to fund the project. The renovations are expected to begin in Summer 2012 and be completed prior to the start of the 2013-14 term. During the renovation, current Thompson residents will be relocated to Higgins Hall.

Phase one of the University Union project, estimated to cost $10 million, may include the following as funding allows, asbestos abatement, replacement of mechanical and light systems, interior finishes, elevators and exterior finishes and changes to the building navigation and interior space usage. The University Union was built in two phases in 1962 and 1964. In its 50 year history, only minor modifications and repairs have been made to the building's structure, layout and systems. Construction is slated to begin in Fall 2012, with an anticipated completion date by Summer 2013.

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