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WIU to receive $89M for performing arts center from Rebuild Illinois Plan

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WIU-PACRendering-04132021

MACOMB (WGEM) -- The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) announced it has selected OWP/P Cannon Design, Inc. as the preferred architectural design firm for the new Performing Arts Center at Western Illinois University (WIU) in Macomb.

The state reported Tuesday that the $89 million project is moving forward as part of Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

State officials reported the new 100,000 square foot Performing Arts Center will consist of a performance auditorium, convocation center for recitals, lectures, graduation ceremonies, and local art and civic functions.

CDB will oversee the project’s design and construction in accordance with the protocol for state-appropriated projects.

“Illinois is home to the best universities and research centers in the world and boasts a talented workforce that attracts companies from across the globe,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “The new performing arts center at Western Illinois University, made possible through funding from the historic bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, will further cement the university’s place as a world-class institution that excels in preparing talented students for the careers of tomorrow.”

“The Capital Development Board looks forward to working with OWP/P Cannon Design, Inc. in the planning and design of the WIU Performing Arts Center,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood. “The Center will include a 300 seat theater, 150 seat studio center, and performance support spaces.”

"We are profoundly grateful for Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Capital Development Board for selecting an architectural firm and releasing the funds to begin the design process, which will finally lead to the construction of our much-anticipated WIU Center for the Performing Arts," said Western Illinois University President Guiyou Huang. "We look forward to the day when we can open this outstanding center that will benefit our students, faculty and staff, our communities, and the region. The Center for the Performing Arts will enhance Western's academic distinction and provide our region with state-of-the-art music, dance, and theater facility. This is a true investment for WIU and west-central Illinois. We again extend our appreciation to the Governor, the CDB, our legislators, businesses, alumni, friends, and donors for their continued support of this project."

“We are very excited that the next phase of the Center for Performing Arts is underway. The CPA will not only enhance the educational opportunities at WIU, but provide a significant economic benefit for Macomb and the region. We thank all of our state partners for moving us one step closer to the CPA at WIU, being a reality,” said Macomb Mayor Michael Inman.
“The announcement of a design firm for the construction of the new performing arts center is welcome news for Western Illinois University. A project of this magnitude will be a tremendous asset for WIU, enhancing current instruction and attracting future prospective students,” said State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy). “I appreciate the Rebuild Illinois capital program making this valuable investment in much-needed facilities for our higher education system.”

“This announcement of the selection of a design firm for the Center for the Performing Arts at Western Illinois University is exciting news. The project has been in the works for decades and now it will finally become a reality. Together with the State, many private citizens have made significant financial commitments to different aspects of the project. The Center will be a state-of-the-art facility bringing the arts and an economic boost to all the residents of west-central Illinois,” stated State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb).

According to the governor's office, the Rebuild Illinois capital plan passed with bipartisan super-majorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers, and state facilities like the new crime lab and veterans’ homes, creating and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the six-year plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.

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