SIUE Secures $5.7M for Special Projects

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SIUE CampusSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville will receive $5.7-million to fund three special projects, including replacement of the sand filters and a digester lid at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, water valve replacement across the Edwardsville and Alton campuses, and a renovation and expansion of the campus greenhouse. The projects will be managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) in conjunction with SIUE Facilities Management.

The Waste Water Treatment Plant’s digester lid and sand filter replacement will account for $1.16-million from the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB). The digester, which has rusted and requires a new lid, is the primary device that breaks down solids at the sewer plant. The sand filters remove excess solids and are beyond their life expectancy.

“If the filters failed, the plant would need to be shut down and cause the campus to close,” said Craig Holan, SIUE director of facilities. “We absolutely want to avoid that.”

An additional $2.5-million from IBHE and GOMB will support the on-going water valve replacement project, which will replace the remaining water valves, fire hydrants and main distribution pumps within the Water Distribution System on the Edwardsville and Alton campuses. While many of the original equipment valves and hydrants have already been updated, this replaces the remaining valves, hydrants and related equipment.

“The project increases fire-fighting safety on the campuses and allows for more efficient repairs of water line breaks or leaks by having strategically located and properly functioning shut-off valves,” said Rich Walker, SIUE vice chancellor for administration.

The GOMB will provide $2-million for the greenhouse renovation and expansion. This is the final component of the Science Complex, which included renovation of the original Science East building and construction of the new Science West building. The project includes renovating the existing 1,500-square foot greenhouse, adding a 1,500-square foot wing and building a 600-square foot head house to serve as a workspace and control center.

“The renovated and enlarged facility will enable departments to perform research, and use state-of-the-art systems and controls to create and sustain four distinct plant environments: tropical, temperate, desert and cool room,” Walker said.

The SIUE Departments of Biological Sciences and Environmental Sciences, housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, will utilize the facility.