COD getting state money for improvement projects
The long-awaited release of more than $700,000 in state grant money will allow College of DuPage to pursue improvement projects on its main campus in Glen Ellyn and a center in Carol Stream.
"We are very pleased," COD President Ann Rondeau said Thursday. "These are funds that we had asked for many years ago. We will use this money toward students and student success."
The money also will help the college preserve its buildings and "do smart maintenance," Rondeau said.
Bruce Schmiedl, director of facilities at COD, said the application for the grant was submitted eight years ago. School officials sought the money to help maintain buildings and make repairs before problems arise.
"As we maintain buildings, that's good for taxpayers," Rondeau said. "But it's also good for students since what we're doing is making the place better."
Schmiedl agreed, adding that COD officials are working to create an environment where students can excel.
"Having the college facilities be something that never has to cross their radar screen is one way that we can contribute to student success," he said.
This week, state Rep. Peter Breen broke the news that the state was going to release the $709,055 for COD's projects.
Breen said in an email Thursday that it's helpful to see some tax dollars from DuPage County residents coming back to help COD.
"Nearly all of these funds will update maintenance areas on aging infrastructure and equipment at the campus," Breen wrote. "I'm less concerned with glitzy than I am with function, and these dollars will be put to excellent use restoring and securing the physical assets of the college."
The projects at COD have a total estimated cost of $955,000. The school has agreed to pay $245,945 of that cost.
Projects that are planned include:
• Parking lot repairs at the Glen Ellyn campus;
• Electronic lock systems upgrades;
• Boiler equipment repairs;
• Miller Homeland Security Center/Health Sciences Center equipment recommissioning to optimize functionality and energy efficiency;
• Replacing boilers that are reaching the end of their service life;
• Replacing a boiler at the COD Carol Stream Center.
Schmiedl said the state is going to oversee the projects. Some of the work could start next year.
Once the projects are done, COD "will be in a pretty good place," Schmiedl said.
"We'll be able to take a few projects off our list that we had identified a while ago," he said. "It will allow us to focus on other things that may come up."
The grant money for COD is part of $11.3 million in project funds that were released for use by community colleges across Illinois, according to Breen's office. Additional funds for other community college capital projects are expected to be announced in coming weeks.