Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker came to the Illinois State University campus on Thursday, January 30, to announce the release of the remaining $52.3 million in capital funding for the renovation of facilities in the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts. The funding was recently released by the Illinois Capital Development Board. The funding is part of the state’s capital spending plan, approved last year by Gov. Pritzker.

“With this investment, we’re giving ISU’s current and future students a world-class education in a world-class facility—and we’re giving students the tools to succeed,” said Pritzker, speaking at a gallery in the Center for Visual Arts.

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The Fine Arts Complex project will be a combination of renovation and new construction that will enhance instructional spaces in Centennial East and Centennial West, both constructed in 1959; the Center for the Visual Arts, constructed in 1973; and the Center for the Performing Arts, completed in 2002.

“The Fine Arts Complex renovation has been high on Illinois State University’s priority list for the past decade,” said President Larry Dietz. “This long-awaited project will provide a much-needed new space for the excellent programs within the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts. The Illinois State community is grateful to the General Assembly and to Gov. Pritzker for making sure this project was part of a larger capital development plan for Illinois.”

people at a podium
(Left to right) State Rep. Dan Brady, State Sen. Jason Barickman, State Sen. Bill Brady, President Larry Dietz, and student Sara Alfieri joined Gov. JB Prtizker (at podium) in the announcement of funds for the renovation of facilities in the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts.

Funding for the Fine Arts Complex renovation was first appropriated by the State of Illinois in fiscal year 2010, and in 2013 then-Governor Pat Quinn announced the release of funds during Illinois State’s Founders Day celebration. Some funding was released by the Capital Development Board to begin the design and architectural process. After the initial release of funds, the project was held up at the state level. Other emergency capital funding was released in recent years to cover the costs of needed roof and infrastructure repairs to the Center for the Visual Arts and other facilities within the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts. The total cost for the renovation project is $61.9 million, which includes the recently released $52.3 million and the $9.6 million for emergency repairs.

“The Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts has experienced impressive enrollment growth in programs of study, such as creative technologies and design, teacher education, and music therapy and performance,” said Dean Jean Miller. “With the Fine Arts Complex project, we will be able to offer our students state-of-the-art facilities to match their talent, academic studies, and creative work.”

With the release of funds, Illinois State will resume working with architects on the planning and design phase for the project. An exact construction timeline has not been finalized, but work will be done in phases to minimize disruption to classes and programs within the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts.