- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois Springfield is celebrating the beginning stages of a nearly $22 million student union project.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/1q270gG ) reports that university officials from both Springfield and Champaign, current and former students, and donors attended a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday on the campus’ South Quad.

The 50,000-square-foot facility will provide campus dining services, a coffee shop, a ballroom with seating for up to 450 people, and a center that will house student government, volunteer offices and work spaces for student organizations.

Private donations and student fees will cover almost all of the project’s $21.7 million cost. More than $5.3 million of the $8 million goal has been raised.

Construction work is expected to start Thursday and wrap up in early 2018.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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