Morris awaits capital funds

By Gus Bode

Morris Library is gradually nearing completion, but with money from the statewide capital plan being held in limbo, most of the facility’s books and shelving have not yet been moved.

The university is waiting on $85.8 million from the statewide capital construction plan, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed on July 13, said Dean of Library Affairs, David Carlson. The library needs the money to finish moving the books and shelving held at McLafferty Annex back to Morris.

Carlson said it could be months, even years, before the university receives the funds.


‘What we don’t know is when the money will actually be released and usable to us,’ Carlson said.

But despite funding issues, the library staff remains optimistic about the new changes.

Bike racks were recently installed at the south entrance with more scheduled for the north entrance this week, Carlson said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring for a new patio that will allow standing room for at least 100 people, said Kristine McGuire, constituency development officer.

McGuire said it would incorporate limestone and granite remnants from Old Main, a building that was lost in a fire during the late 1960s.

Funding for the project is being generated by the sale of commemorative bricks, 97 of which have already been underwritten and will be used as a serpentine walkway, McGuire said.

McGuire said cash donations and pledges have already contributed over $57,000 to the patio’s $100,000 budget approved in 2007.


Stone slabs from the remnants will be converted into benches and provide a border for the patio, which will face Thompson Woods, said Robert Jensen, chair of the patio committee.

Jensen said he thinks of the patio as a link to SIUC’s past.’

‘It will bring at least a little bit of Old Main back to campus,’ Jensen said.

Alumni who visit the patio will be able to identify the fragments of Old Main and take advantage of the memories preserved in it.

‘It’s fun to watch alumni come into the building and see how much it’s changed,’ McGuire said. ‘I think they appreciate the new library.’

Christina Spakousky can be reached @ 536-3311 ext. 268 [email protected]

Erin Holcomb can be reached @ 536-3311 ext. 255 [email protected]