Shawnee college to construct two buildings through bond issue

Friday, February 9, 2007

ULLIN, Ill. -- Shawnee Community College will construct a medical arts building and a new technology center, financing them with a $6.2 million bond issue.

The college's board of trustees approved the sale of the bonds earlier this week.

The college plans to break ground for the new structures in April, school officials said Wednesday.

Shawnee's Medical Arts and Sciences building will have two levels, encompassing a total of 22,000 square feet. The upper level will have a student lounge with coffee bar, and a new fitness center and aerobics room.

Students will be able to look out at the campus lake. "It will be completely wall to wall windows," said college spokeswoman Sarah Kinkade.

The building's lower level will house classrooms for the nursing program and other health-care training, she said.

The medical arts building is expected to be completed by spring 2009.

The new, single-story Career Technology Center will encompass about 12,00 square feet. Scheduled to open in fall 2008, it will house the college's truck driving program as well as classes in welding, appliance repair and electronics.

In addition to the new construction, existing nursing program classrooms will be converted into a medical clinic, school officials said. Rural Health of Anna, Ill., will provide the medical services.

Shawnee officials said the bonds would be retired over seven years with money from a property tax levy increase. The school's board of trustees increased the tax levy by 21 cents, bringing the levy to 65 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

The trustees raised the levy after holding a public hearing in December, Kinkade said. Under Illinois law, she said, the board could raise the levy without holding an election.

Shawnee Community college has 2,752 students enrolled in classes this semester. That's up 4 percent from last spring, Kinkade said.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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