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November 16, 2001

Ryan: $11.9 Million in Illinois FIRST Projects for Chicago

SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he is releasing $11.928 million in Illinois FIRST funding for projects in Chicago, including $10 million to Chicago State University to construct a Convocation Center at the university.

The new facility will allow for on-campus commencement and convocation exercises and also serve as a mulit-purpose educational and arts facility. It will have an assembly space with a seating capacity of 7,000 people, an exhibition arena, classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, concession areas and other related services.

Other Illinois FIRST grants announced by Ryan:

  • $1,000,000 to the Cook County Sheriff's Boot Camp to support the Post Release Reintegration Program.
  • $750,000 to DePaul University to develop and deliver the Digital Divide program to various Chicago area schools which serve underprivileged students, grades K-12.
  • $20,000 to Vision of Restoration, Inc., to supports its Career Development and Enhancement program.
  • $75,000 to the Academy of St. Edmund King and Martyr to implement a free after school enrichment program, open to elementary age children of the public at large.
    This project was initiated by State Rep. Howard Kenner, D-Chicago.
  • $75,000 to the Diocese of the Northwest to hire a program director/case manager, a general case manager and an office receptionist for the Eugene Sawyer Center.
  • $25,000 to the Blue Gargoyle Youth Service Center to hire a Coordinator/Client Service Manager for its Youth Tutoring program.
    This project was initiated by State Rep. Barbara Currie, D-Chicago.
  • $25,000 to the Blue Gargoyle Youth Service Center to hire a School Counselor/Psycotherapist for its adult literacy program and a tutoring program at its alternative high school.
    This project was initiated by State Sen. Barack Obama, D-Chicago.
  • $15,000 to the Roseland Little League to remodel the interior of two concession stands at 12483 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
    This project was initiated by State Rep. David Miller, D-Calumet City.
  • $13,000 to the Chicago Public Schools to make repairs to the exterior and interior at West Pullman Elementary School.
    This project was initiated by Miller.

Illinois FIRST funds are not part of the state budget's General Revenue Fund. Recently, lagging tax collections brought on by a slowdown in the national economy and the terrorist attacks of September 11 have forced the governor to order spending cuts in the General Revenue Fund that amount to less than 2 percent of total spending. Illinois FIRST monies are derived from separate accounts in the state budget -- the Road Fund and the Fund for Illinois Future -- as well as through the sale of state bonds.


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