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WJBD - Local News - Kaskaskia College To Be Able to Use Shuttered Animal Disease Lab Building Free Of Charge

Kaskaskia College President Dr. Jim Underwood, KC Board member Dr. Dee Boswell, State Representative John Cavaletto, and KC Board Members Jim Beasley and Bill Hawley pose for a photo after the announcement is made KC will be able to utilize the former Animal Disease Laboratory free of charge.

Kaskaskia College To Be Able to Use Shuttered Animal Disease Lab Building Free Of Charge

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The shuttered Centralia Animal Disease Lab will soon be occupied again.  The State of Illinois will allow Kaskaskia College to utilize the building for its agriculture program.  

State Representative John Cavaletto was at the college board meeting Monday night to make the announcement.  "The state has gone into an agreement with the college for five years at no charge to lease the building.  Of course they are responsible for taking care of it, so on and so forth, and then every five years they can renew that agreement with the hope one day with resolution by the legislature that we can put the building into the hands of the college," said Cavaletto.  He hopes the college may eventually be able to do water and some crop sampling for the community to replace some of what was lost when the animal disease lab was closed.  

College President Dr. Jim Underwood says the building will allow for the expansion of the college's ag programs much quicker than anticipated.  "It is wonderful opportunity to serve our students and our public with additional skills in many new occupational fields that they can finish with good paying jobs at the end of their preparation.  We're going to implement some programs that will transfer to the universities from the associate of applied science degree in agriculture," said Underwood.  

The college had an agriculture building on its list of future projects with the state.  Underwood says the 48,000 square foot disease lab building that's adjacent to the main college campus will meet most of the needs.  

The college President and board thanked Cavaletto for his leadership in putting together the cost free lease agreement with the state.   

The board approved its Fiscal Year 2015 Resource Allocation Management Program Application.  In addition to the agricultural facility, it also includes a nursing facility to provide enhanced education opportunities and community education in Nursing, Paramedicine and EMS programs.  Another project is expansion of the Crisp Technology Center to provide additional space for the expansion of existing programs and the addition of new programs to serve the community.   Construction of new college owned Education Centers at Nashville and Trenton are also on the list.   

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