February 03, 2006

SIUC opens 1st research park building

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to find innovative ways to contribute to the growth of the region's economy.

University and community leaders today (Feb. 3) marked the newest chapter in that ongoing effort with the grand opening of the first new building in the Southern Illinois Research Park. The park is on the south side of the campus, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and Pleasant Hill Road.

"This facility, and others that we hope will follow in the Southern Illinois Research Park, will further enhance our region's economy by offering outstanding facilities that will attract high-tech, research and knowledge-based businesses," Chancellor Walter V. Wendler said.

He acknowledged the continuing support of state legislators, state agency officials and members of the congressional delegation. In particular, Wendler pointed out that U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, shepherded nearly $2 million in federal grants and appropriations since the unveiling of plans for the research park six years ago. Just last August, Costello – who participated in today's ceremony – presented SIUC officials with $1 million to build additional access and roadways in the research park.

"We very much appreciate Congressman Costello's support for this and many other initiatives on the campus," Wendler said. "He is a persuasive advocate on Capital Hill for the University and for Southern Illinois."

The one-story, multi-tenant building is near the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, the anchor of the research park. Dunn-Richmond houses a variety of programs, including the Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Incubator, Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center, Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center, SouthernTECH and the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development.

Tenants of the new facility will include graduates of the Small Business Incubator program and new and expanding knowledge-based companies. DXR Development Group and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service moved into the new building from the Dunn-Richmond center, and the University of Illinois Extension Service will complete its move into the facility by March 1.

The building will accommodate six to nine enterprises with around 100 employees and an annual payroll of $5 million.

Raymond C. Lenzi, associate vice chancellor for economic and regional development and executive director of the research park, said the new facility represents the economy of the future.

"SIUC and the research park together will play an historic role in creating new technologies, educating the workforce and creating the businesses and jobs for the 21st century," he said.

Development of the research park and enhancing economic development in the region are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

SIUC opens 1st research park building

Grand Opening – U.S. Rep.
Jerry Costello, D-Belleville,
was among the speakers during
today's grand opening of the
first new building in the
Southern Illinois Research
Park at Southern Illinois
University Carbondale. Also
participating were (left to
right): SIUC Chancellor Walter
V. Wendler, SIU President
Glenn Poshard and Raymond C.
Lenzi, SIUC associate vice
chancellor for regional and
economic development Download
Photo Here