Friday, December 20, 2019

UIS chancellor 'optimistic' about university presence downtown

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch said Thursday she is “optimistic” about submitting a proposal and eventually securing funds for a university presence in downtown Springfield.

Koch, in an interview with The State Journal-Register, addressed recent discussion prompted by a peliminary proposal from the Springfield-Sangamon Growth Alliance calling for a downtown university campus shared by UIS and Southern Illinois University. The campus would be located between Second and Fourth streets to the west and east and Washington and Monroe streets to the north and south.

The proposal raised concerns from some area property owners about being displaced. Several businesses — such as the Sangamo Club, J.P. Kelly’s Pub and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association — are within that boundary.

“I’ve seen those renderings, of course, and I had a meeting with (SSGA executive chairman) Dan Dungan not too long ago and we talked about those renderings,” Koch said. “So your question is, do they represent our vision? My answer to that would be, they could.”

Growing the University of Illinois Springfield in downtown is absolutely a possibility, Koch said. “I don’t know right now whether that’s where this will all settle.”

The article appeared in the State Journal-Register on December 20, 2019.

Read the entire story online.