In 1983, Spoon River College purchased the former Macomb high school building on South Johnson street and began college operations. In 2006, board trustees approved the purchase of the former Heilig-Meyers building at 2500 E. Jackson Street with the goal of expanding the college’s offerings in McDonough County.

Phase I of that expansion was completed in 2009 with the construction of approximately one-third of the space that houses the Community Outreach Center. While the Outreach Center became a vital part of the Macomb community as a place for college events and Outreach classes, as well as a rental facility for many community and business events, completion of the remaining build-out and expansion stalled. Until now.

On April 2 of this year, the Illinois Capital Development Board opened bids for this project followed by funding awards and notice to proceed approvals.  A preconstruction meeting was held June 4 at the Macomb site with lead contractor Hein Construction and their subcontractors, as well as officials from the Capital Development Board and Spoon River College. Funding for the project comes from the state’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan and SRC bonding for the required match.

Construction is scheduled to begin July 8 of this year, with substantial completion scheduled for May 23, 2025, and final completion scheduled for June 20, 2025.

“This is our most current time line, but as with any project it is subject to change. Because the construction will be taking place inside, there should not be any weather-related delays,” said Dr. Curt Oldfield, president of Spoon River College. “We are hoping to start offering classes in there in the fall of 2025.” All operations at the current campus located on South Johnson Street will move to the East Jackson location.

Oldfield also said the college has talked with the governor’s office about doing a wall breaking rather than a groundbreaking. “That event would most likely be held in July or August, and attendees could symbolically break pieces of dry wall.”

“The new building will allow us to substantially increase the learning spaces for nursing and career programs, while providing new classrooms and laboratories for our transfer and adult education programs.  This project will be a game changer local workforce preparation, and has been a long time coming, and we will be even more excited when construction begins.”