DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Illinois Capital Development Board announced Wednesday $561,488 has been released for the renovation of the Shilling Community Education Center and Bistro at Richland Community College from the state, with local matching funds supporting a total investment of $748,650.

The funding will help address deferred maintenance projects on the Richland Community College campus that have been stalled due to a lack of investment by previous administrations.

CDB will oversee the project’s renovation under the protocol for state-appropriated capital projects. 

“It is the duty of elected officials to provide young people with the tools and resources they need to shape their future and achieve their dreams,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With funding from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, Richland Community College will be able to complete long-needed maintenance work and complete the Shilling Community Education Center and Bistro, further cementing its place as an educational leader in the community.” 


“I am thankful to the State of Illinois for investing in the design and construction of the Shilling Community Education Center and Bistro at Richland Community College,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood. “The Rebuild Illinois capital plan is essential to upgrading and improving facilities throughout the state.” 


The project includes the replacement of the seating, flooring, and wall finishes in the Shilling Auditorium theater. This project will also upgrade the electrical system and replace select lighting in the building. 

“We are very pleased to receive this support from the State via the Rebuild Illinois capital program,” said Dr. Cris Valdez, President of Richland Community College. “This specific project will allow Richland Community College to upgrade the Shilling Auditorium and Bistro 537, the working laboratory for our award-winning culinary arts programs.  Both of these facilities are great assets for the College and the communities we serve.”

“I’m glad to see these funds released to help Richland Community College with their mission of educating and training a robust workforce,” said State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet). “When I voted for the capital bill, it was to support job creation in our region and to greatly repair our transit infrastructure.  I appreciate Gov. Pritzker releasing these funds to support workforce training.”

“Renovations of the Schilling Auditorium theater and Bistro are very important developments to the Richland Community College and Decatur community. The auditorium provides for one of the largest stages in the area, giving both students and the public a comfortable place for education and entertainment,” said State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). “I look forward to this project completion and the continued generation of talented students from Richland.”