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Kaskaskia College Moves Up Construction of New Nursing Facility

Kaskaskia College is moving up the start of construction on the nursing education building on the main campus.  College President Dr. Jim Underwood says the college board will be asked to re-allocate bond funds at Monday night's meeting that would allow for design work to start on the 15,000 square foot facility and construction to start next spring.  He reports the project is being moved up because the college will no longer have to build an ag education building with the state's offer of a free lease of the shuttered Centralia Animal Disease facility.  

"By placing our Agricultural programs within that building we will be able to move forward much more rapidly with the new facility for our nursing programs to allow the institution to reduce its waiting list for students who are in line to receive nursing training and the various programs we have in that division" said Underwood.

Underwood says eliminating the agriculture building from the capital list will also free up money to add the business incubator and one more classroom back into the Trenton Education Center.  The expanded center is currently under construction.  The size of the new Nashville Education Center will be expanded from 10,000 to 12,000 square feet to allow additional programs to be offered.  

Underwood emphasizes all of the additional work can be done at no additional cost to the taxpayers.  The arena portion of the vocational center is proposed to be removed from the bond issue, but Underwood says the arena is currently on the list for eventual state funding.  

On a related note, Underwood says the college is working on a partnership with a private firm that would allow water testing services to once again be conducted at the former Animal Disease building for area governmental units and individuals.  He reports the Farm Bureau and the University of Illinois Extension Service have both inquired about locating offices at the new Kaskaskia College Agricultural Education Center.  However, nothing has been finalized.   

The college board reviewed its current capital needs during a work session this week.  In addition to the bond re-allocation, the college board Monday night is also expected to finalize the five year no cost lease agreement for the Animal Disease Lab building with the state.    

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