MT. VERNON – The new proposed Allied Health building remains at the top of Rend Lake College's annual wish list of improvement projects.
And college officials are guardedly optimistic that the state could allocate funding for the initiative in the near future.
“We're looking at a pretty decent possibility of that being funded in the next couple of years,” said Chad Copple, RLC's director of marketing and public information.
The RLC Board of Trustees Tuesday approved its annual Resource Allocation Management Plan (RAMP), which will be submitted to the Illinois Community College Board. The document outlines the college's desired improvement projects and is updated each year.
The state accepts RAMP lists from colleges across Illinois, then prioritizes the projects for possible funding.
RLC's $6.2 million Allied Health building has been on the state's combined project list for a number of years and is currently ranked number 10.
“We're probably dependent on the state selling more bonds in the next couple months or year in order for this to be funded,” said Bob Carlock, retiring vice president of finance and administration at RLC.
If the state were to allocate funding, a 25 percent local match from RLC would likely be required, Copple said.
Constructing a new Allied Health building would create more lab space for nursing and associate degree nursing students at RLC. The current nursing lab has insufficient space to “adequately meet the needs of expanding Allied Health programs,” states the RLC RAMP document.
“There's no doubt now that Allied Health is a high growth field,” Carlock said. “We have a great hospital system in Southern Illinois so there are well-paid jobs available for graduates.”
If the nursing program moves into a new building, the college could utilize the classrooms in the current nursing lab for other purposes.