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U of I’s master plan estimated to cost $1.2 billion

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. | Google images

University of Illinois officials say a proposed $1.2 billion master plan that provides a flexible blueprint for future campus growth and development isn’t unrealistic given the university’s donor base and track record.
The cost is comparable to what the campus has previously spent on projects over the last 10 years, said Tim Killeen, university president. Trustee Ramon Cepeda said the cost of the master plan would be paid over 10 years.The plan includes the $170 million renovation of State Farm Center, the $121 million renovation of Memorial Stadium, the $90 million Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, and three new residence halls estimated to cost about $75 million each, The News-Gazette reported.

“This is a feasible approach. It’s very exciting,” Killeen said.

Trustee Don Edwards said funding for the projects will likely have to come from fundraising.

“We should be as ambitious as possible when it comes to raising money from our alums and reinvesting it in the future of Illinois students,” Edwards said.

Last month, the campus kicked off a $2.25 billion campaign as part of a $3.1 billion fundraising effort by the UI system.

“We’re going to have to get very active on the fundraising for obvious reasons,” Killeen said. “We can’t expect all of these to be done by state funding, if it continues to erode.”

Mary Jukuri, the campus planner for the consulting firm SmithGroupJJR, said a full detailed report will be available online once it’s been approved by trustees. The board is scheduled to meet next week in Chicago.