The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University met January 13 in the Bone Student Center. At the meeting, the Board gave approvals for the naming of a bench in honor of Ben Allison, and approved funds to revamp heating and fire systems on campus.

It was the final quarterly meeting for several long-serving Board members. Trustee Rocky Donahue and President Larry Dietz honored the three departing Board members, Jay D. Bergman, Anne Davis, and Betty Kinser, whose terms expire mid-January. Board member Bob Dobski, whose partial term also expires in January, will remain on the Board.

The Board approved the naming of a campus bench in memory of Illinois State student Ben Allison. The bench will be located on the Redbird Plaza, which is currently under construction near Fell Hall. Allison, who died two years ago while he was a student, worked for the student radio station WZND. Deb Lesser, an emeritus advisor for the radio station and a driving force behind the resolution to name the bench, attended the meeting along with Allison’s parents.

The Board also approved the renewal of an agreement with Aetna Student Health for the University’s student health and accident insurance. The renewal agreement covers the 2017-2018 policy year. The student health insurance rates remain the same as those charged for the 2016-2017 policy year, with no fee increase, at $249 for the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters and $187 for summer 2018.

Trustees approved a $510,000 project to upgrade the existing fire alarm system in the Science Laboratory Building, which houses all of the Chemistry Department’s laboratories and most of the School of Biological Sciences’ labs. The current system is original to the building, which opened in 1997. The project will include replacement of smoke detectors, audible alarms, and the system’s main panel. The work, which will be completed during the coming summer months, will bring the alarm system into compliance with current building and life safety codes. Money for the project will come from general revenue operating funds.

Trustees also authorized a $1.2 million project to renovate the Julian Hall Data Center. The work will include upgrades to the data center’s mechanical, HVAC, and fire suppression systems. Lighting and power upgrades and the installation of new security cameras will also be completed. The climate control system improvements are necessary because of the high heat output from the center’s data servers and other equipment, and the sensitivity of that equipment to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Money for the improvement project comes from general revenue operating funds.