State’s stalled, $700M construction projects hit colleges

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state’s shutdown of building projects is being felt most at its colleges and universities. An Associated Press analysis of state records shows Gov. Bruce Rauner’s order to stop work affected 218 jobs worth $707 million. More than 65 percent of that money — $463 million — is tied up in 81 projects at 27 colleges and universities. Educators have scrambled for alternate space. The projects remain idle because there’s no budget agreement. Halted classroom renovation at the University of Illinois’ veterinary school forced officials to relocate 100 students. A building at Olive-Harvey Community College in Chicago was supposed to open this month, but is one of 11 state projects that will need to be temporarily enclosed to protect it from winter weather at a total price of $2 million.