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Bill introduced in statehouse sets aside $50 million to build SIU campus in downtown Springfield

Daily Egyptian SIUC

Thursday, January 31, 2019  |  Article  |  By Rana Schenke,

Education--Higher (37) Manar, Andy--State Senate, 48
Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, introduced legislation Wednesday afternoon that would set aside $50 million for SIU to establish a satellite campus and public policy center in downtown Springfield.

The new campus would be located within a mile from  SIU School of Medicine, currently located in Springfield, Illinois. 

“There is enormous potential in the idea of SIU placing a public policy center steps from the capitol,” Manar said. “Coupled with a law school or something associated with the medical school, I think SIU could have a significant and lasting impact on downtown Springfield.”

SIU officials have previously indicated interest in establishing a satellite law school campus in either downtown Springfield or Edwardsville, according to the press release.

“SIU is grateful for Senator Manar’s support and his proposal,” John Charles, SIU Director of Government and Public Affairs, said in a written statement. “The proposal would allow the university to upgrade existing programs and establish new ones to benefit students and the Springfield community.”

Charles said the university has been developing plans to expand to Springfield for many years, and a new facility could also expand opportunities for SIU Systems offices and WSIU Public Broadcasting, which recently acquired central Illinois PBS stations, as well as the SIU School of Medicine.

“Springfield has always been the main campus for the SIU School of Medicine,” Charles said. “For 50 years, the School of Medicine has provided education, research, patient care and community service to the people and communities of central and southern Illinois.”

A new facility would allow the School of Medicine to conduct more research and work on the development, production and dissemination of new products and services, according to Charles.

“The university looks forward to working with Senator Manar, our campus legislators and all members of the General Assembly, as well as the Governor’s Office and local and county officials to improve opportunities for the Springfield and central/southern Illinois region,” Charles said.