Construction will start soon on the next phase of Western Illinois University's campus in the Quad Cities.
Local and state leaders were on hand Wednesday afternoon to break ground for the second building at the new riverfront campus in Moline.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn called it a prudent investment by the people of the state.
"We believe in jobs, and one of the very best ways to have good jobs today and tomorrow is to invest in education," Quinn told the crowd. "We want to make sure that all of our students get a good education."
The governor thanked John Deere for the donation of its former tech center to the state.
WIU president Jack Thomas called it an exciting time in the history of the university.
"We're grateful that there's a lot of excitement here in the Quad Cities for the new riverfront campus. Business and industry and many others have embraced us and will build around this campus, which makes it the hub of community growth," said Thomas.
Joining Thomas and Quinn at the groundbreaking were students and administrators from Macomb and the Quad Cities, the WIU marching band, and even Colonel Rock the Third --the bulldog mascot for the university.
The first building at the new campus opened in January.
Thanks to Augustana Public Radio for the story & the photos