February 10, 2005

Infrastructure work for new research park gets OK

by Tom Woolf

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today (Feb. 10) took another step toward development of the Southern Illinois Research Park on the Carbondale campus.

The board approved a five-year master contract and 30-year ground lease between SIUC and Southern Illinois Research Park, Inc. or SIRP.

The research park, designed to attract high-tech and knowledge based companies, is on the south edge of campus and is home to SIUC's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center.

Today's agreements are part of the process leading to construction of the park's first new building.

The one-story, 19,920-square-foot facility will offer space for eight to 10 firms. Raymond C. Lenzi, associate vice chancellor for economic and regional development and executive director of the research park, said he hopes for a spring groundbreaking for the $2.8 million project.

The master contract establishes a formal business relationship between the University and SIRP. It spells out SIRP's responsibilities, which include completing site work improvements for the park, developing business and budget plans and the marketing the park's technology enterprise opportunities to the public and University community. The University's responsibilities include working with SIRP to facilitate the development of the land and facilities.

The ground lease allows SIRP to construct a parking lot for the facility and complete other site improvements, including sidewalks, landscaping and signage. SIRP received grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cover the costs of site improvements.