- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday took part in a fly-around announcing state investments including a project expanding a shelter for homeless veterans and the renovation of a former YWCA building for recreational use.

Quinn appeared in downtown Springfield to announce a $1.2 million investment for the Salvation Army of Sangamon County’s shelter to help veterans in need. His office said the investment will complete the first phase of a $6.8 million three-phase renovation of the recently acquired property. The renovation is expected to increase the shelter’s capacity from 36 to 72 beds, and allow the Salvation Army to expand its food pantry, medical services program, and add classrooms and a computer lab where residents can get job training.

Quinn in a statement said that “the men and women who have fought for our country should not have to face another battle to find a home of their own.”

Quinn also announced that the Peoria Park District would receive $2.5 million to renovate a former YWCA building. The grant will pay for a majority of the estimated $3.4 million in renovation costs, which include the demolition of a deteriorating portion of the structure and the reconstruction of a new gym, accessible restrooms and the building of a new outdoor playground.

The grants are funded through a $31 billion capital construction program passed by the Legislature in 2009. The package was largely paid for through legalizing video poker, raising taxes on candy, liquor and beauty products and privatizing the Illinois lottery.

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