University of Illinois postpones building of student union

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials at the University of Illinois in Springfield say they’re holding back on the groundbreaking of a new student union because of the state’s troubled budget. But Chancellor Susan Koch says the 50,000-square-foot student union eventually will be built. But she says proposed cuts to higher education funding under Gov. Bruce Rauner’s current budget proposal have caused university officials to be more cautious, especially in terms of construction. Koch tells the State Journal-Register that the administration asked for the tentatively-scheduled groundbreaking in May to be postponed to a later time. She says she hopes groundbreaking can take place this fall so the building can open in the spring or summer of 2017. Student fees and private donations will cover most of the building’s nearly $21.8 million cost.