BOT commissions Saluki Way planning

By Gus Bode

Zack Quaintance

Daily Egyptian

EDWARDSVILLE – The SIU Board of Trustees commissioned Thursday planning for $118 million of construction and projected the work to begin in 2008.


Trustees initiated planning for the first phase of Saluki Way, a massive overhaul of campus’ east corridor. As previously announced, the plan contains a new football stadium, renovations to the SIU Arena and a student services building.

But administrators might add another building. SIU President Glenn Poshard said it is “very likely” that the university will put a classroom building into the first phase.

University officials stopped short of confirming tuition and student fees would support the building, but information provided by the university identified students as the source of funding.

In the spring, campus constituency groups objected to increasing student fees to pay for Saluki Way. The Faculty Senate and student government denounced the plan, saying it was unfair to charge all students for athletic facilities.

Board chairman Roger Tedrick said trustees added the estimated $18 million classroom building because of this feedback.

Even so, affordability for students remained a concern at the meeting. In May, trustees tagged students with an additional $64 in fees, with $44 for supporting the stadium and $20 for the student services building. Those fees will increase incrementally for the next three years.

On Thursday, Trustee Sam Goldman prefaced support for Saluki Way with concern about affordability.


“I am also, however, concerned that, ultimately, support will go to the students and that concerns me a great deal,” Goldman said. Along with then-student trustee Tequia Hicks, Goldman voted against establishing the first fees in May.

Another vocal opponent of Saluki Way fee increases, Jon Pressley, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Government, said Thursday he worried support for the classroom building would fall to students.

“They’re going to come back and try to get that out of student fees,” Pressley said.

Chancellor Walter Wendler said the funding sources “remain to be determined” for the building, which he hopes will house all of SIUC’s core classes. Wendler has said he wants a building filled with modern classrooms, labs and lecture halls, for students to have their first classes.

Wendler also said he expects to finish planning for phase one in December or January. After that, workers will build a new $42.3 million football stadium in 2008 before razzing the antiquated McAndrew Stadium.

That means SIUC will briefly have two fields.

“We will have the distinction of having the best field in the Gateway Conference and the worst,” Wendler said, as Tedrick and Poshard laughed beside him.

While noting all times and dates may change, university officials projected construction to start on the $25 million services building in 2008 and the $33 million SIU Arena renovations in 2010.

Administrators have said the second phase will include more academic buildings. In limbo from the plan, is a proposed deluxe parking garage to replace the current facility across from the Student Center. Wendler said the building needs to be supported by commuters paying to park there, and planners must determine where on campus would be most profitable.

In other action, Tedrick announced that the governor had selected SIUC student trustee Christine Guerra as the voting student on the board.

The board’s next meeting will be 10 a.m. Oct. 12 on the Carbondale campus.