A $1.27 million renovation of Illinois State University’s Capen Auditorium will begin September 1. The 740-seat auditorium, built in 1909, is the largest lecture space on campus.

“This is an important project for us,” said Greg Alt, interim vice president of finance and planning. “It’s in a prime location on campus and is used by thousands of students each semester.”

It’ll be updated with new seating, flooring, lighting, sound and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

During preliminary work, the University has been leasing the Normal Theater for larger classes and will continue to until the auditorium is completed June 30, 2015.

The Capen project was among $5.9 million in construction projects in Central Illinois recently announced by Governor Pat Quinn. The renovation will be managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board and is part of the state’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, the largest construction program in Illinois history.