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Chicago State University Spent $700K for Shelved Campus

CHICAGO — A report shows that Chicago State University has spent $700,000 on a satellite campus on the city’s West Side that has been put on hold.

The university has been hit hard by the budget impasse as well as declining enrollment and management troubles, The Chicago Tribune reported.

University officials began pursuing a second campus after Illinois lawmakers approved a $40 million capital grant in 2009 and gave $1 million for startup costs in 2011.

Records show the university paid many of its contractors with grant dollars, but it also used school money to hire lawyers, an architectural firm and a project manager to oversee the work.

The school’s new leadership team has previously told the newspaper that former school officials needlessly and improperly spent institutional funds on the project. They also blamed a former project manager for the “oversight.”

Now, two years after the work has mostly stopped and the grant was frozen, school officials say the satellite campus is shelved indefinitely.

“The Board of Trustees and the university’s leadership teams’ first priority is to stabilize the enrollment and finances of the historic South Side campus,” spokeswoman Sabrina Land wrote in a statement. “Thus, the university is not pursuing a Westside Campus at this time.”

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