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."
Wetzel Hall at Western Illinois University no longer exists -- except in the hearts and memories of those who lived and worked there.
The 13-story building was imploded July 14 during an event that drew hundred of spectators. Many took part in a tailgate-style party in the sprawling parking lot known as Q-lot, which is just west of Wetzel. Many others gathered in the parking lot for the University Services Building, which is northeast of Wetzel.
At 7:00 am, WIU Senior William Schmidt pushed down on the ceremonial plunger to start the implosion.
The head of a state panel on police officer training now says facilities in Macomb and Urbana can co-exist.
It appeared the facility at the University of Illinois was about to close this summer. But the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board said Monday July 9 that it has come to an agreement with the U of I to keep that facility’s doors open.
Executive Director Kevin McClain said U of I President Robert Easter initiated talks with members of the board to explain the role of its Police Training Institute, repairing a relationship he described as "dormant."
Western Illinois University is facing another year of reduced state funding while also playing a waiting game with the state.
WIU President Jack Thomas has asked each vice president at the school to reduce his or her division's total budget by 2%. Thomas said the state reduced it support of Western for the new fiscal year by $3.4 million, a cut of more than 6%.
He said WIU recently received a $6.3 million payment from the state but is still owed around $13 million for the Fiscal Year 2012, which ended June 30.