Bradley Announces Major Capital Grants from IBHE

Bradley University has been awarded more than $14.8 million in capital grants from the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) to fund two key campus projects that will have high student impact in the near future.

The first project is a significant upgrade and renovation of the Olin Hall laboratories. These upgrades will include renovated labs, classrooms, and equipment, and will enhance safety for faculty and the more than 2,500 students who utilize the labs each year, while significantly improving the building’s energy efficiency.

The second project is a first-floor renovation and new construction for Williams Dining Hall. This will include renovating the existing kitchen and dining space as well as new construction. The expanded dining space will provide significant additional seating capacity and will be fully ADA accessible, while providing a beautiful view of the campus. This space will cater to the health and well-being of the students by allowing for allergen-specific preparation space, expanded salad bars, and expanded sustainability and environmentally healthy features.

The IBHE funds are part of $400 million in grants awarded through the Independent Colleges Capital Investment Grant Program, in partnership with the Illinois Capital Development Board. The capital grants were awarded to 45 public and private higher education institutions in Illinois.

“This is wonderful news for our entire campus community,” said Bradley University President Stephen Standifird. “A dedicated group of central Illinois state legislators strongly advocated that private college construction projects should be included in this legislation. I want to thank State Senator Dave Koehler, State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, and State Representative Ryan Spain, who all played key roles.”

There is a designated funding stream for these state funds, and it is anticipated there will be three rounds of state bonding over the next three years to pay the amount in full. Construction is expected to begin at Olin Hall in summer of 2024.

More than 2,500 students use Olin Hall lab space each year.