More than $6.6 million in capital funding has been released to benefit Northern Illinois University as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 capital budget approved by lawmakers in late May. The capital program was appropriated as part of the current FY 2019 state budget.
“This capital investment in Northern Illinois University allows for critical infrastructure improvements here,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “These improvements go hand-in-hand with enhanced scholarship programs like AIM High and MAP. Together, the investments help us do a better job of preparing our students for the 21st century economy.”
According to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, funding has been allocated to begin the process designing plans to install two new high efficiency boilers on campus, updating the current boiling system installed in the 1960’s.
“I want to applaud the Governor for his work on ensuring these funds were allocated, enabling Northern Illinois University to make critical infrastructure improvements needed on campus,” said State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). “The existing boiler system is outdated and poses serious safety and operational concerns, making these repairs a top priority.”
Additional funding has also been distributed for critical steam isolation valve and expansion joint replacements. Currently, mechanical expansion joints in the steam tunnel distribution network are failing and beyond repair, with potential to cause a significant disruption to the heating system supporting academic, residential and dining operations.
"I am pleased to see this much-needed investment in infrastructure improvements at NIU move forward," said Representative Keicher (R-Sycamore). "I applaud my new colleagues in the General Assembly for including this funding in the FY19 state budget and look forward to working together to strengthen our commitment to higher education at NIU and across the state."
Having been approved, the Comptroller now has authority to release the funding to begin both projects once costs begin to be incurred.
The F 19 capital initiatives appropriated in the final budget included $100 million to address needs of higher education facilities, including the funding necessary to complete ongoing construction and repair projects, as well as financing to begin new maintenance and infrastructure improvement projects.