CLC not waiting for state money for $30 million project
College of Lake County board members have agreed that a lack of promised state funding should not derail construction of a science and engineering building on the Grayslake campus.
An extra $2.2 million in additional local funding will be set aside for the project, officials said. About $17.5 million in state money was supposed to go toward construction of the roughly $30 million, three-story structure that started in the spring.
However, officials said, CLC has not received any state money it's owed for the project because of the budget impasse in Springfield. Any state funding owed to local community colleges statewide since July 1 has not been shipped.
CLC board Chairman William Griffin said Monday it's difficult to make financial plans with such uncertainty from the state government.
"I remain optimistic this (stalemate) will get settled soon -- we hope," Griffin said.
CLC officials said the $2.2 million in extra local money is earmarked for weatherizing the science and engineering building to prevent structural damage during the winter. CLC started construction of the building by immediately tapping into $12.4 million on deposit with the Illinois Capital Development Board for the local share of the $30 million project.
It's projected the $12.4 million soon will be exhausted, which is why the CLC board last month authorized the extra $2.2 million for the weatherizing.
Griffin said CLC officials will need to discuss further local financing of the science and engineering building early next year if state funding continues to be tied up.
"It's difficult there, no question about it," he said. "We're in the middle of construction projects."
Plans call for the 41,900-square-foot facility to house programs in chemistry, photonics and mechatronics.
Along with the new structure, there will be a renovation of existing C Wing spaces that'll include two new anatomy and physiology laboratories, separate cadaver labs, new microbiology labs and upgraded biology labs. Officials said the construction is projected to go through July 2016.
In another move related to the state budget impasse, CLC will use locally generated revenue to fund up to $840,000 for the Illinois Monetary Award Program for students with financial need through the fiscal year ending June 30. Officials said the money will come from college reserves.
CLC's elected officials in October agreed to tap local money to make up for not receiving $1 million from the state that typically goes toward its adult education program.