By: Diane Benjamin
From a Press Release issued by CIRA:
Of course there is more to the story. This is an epic case proving when government is involved everything is much more difficult and more expensive. It proves yet again why government must be limited.
Received by FOIA
Start with this email – note the date:
ISU was contacted after the University of Illinois backed out! Obviously “our community” wasn’t the first thought.
The space is 800 square feet – per the contract. ISU isn’t paying anything for the space, the gallery is located where the gift shop used to be.
ISU did have to remodel the space to turn it into a “gallery”. The press release says Country Financial helped with finances.
Contracts had to be signed. I received numerous emails making changes as requested by ISU’s lawyers and the CIRA lawyers. They had to discuss what hours the gallery would be open. They had to discuss an alarm system. Of course the governing Boards had to approve everything. CIRA had to approve the color choices. ISU drew up detailed plans for the remodel. Remember, this is 800 square feet. See the 4 page plans here: plans
Construction didn’t start when it was supposed to, so the lease terms had to be revised. The lease is for 5 years and renewable for another 5.
ISU had to provide proof of a $1,000,000 insurance policy.
I think construction finally began in June 2019. It’s hard to tell from the massive number of emails I received.
So, at noon today, a few months short of 2 YEARS later, the gallery will open.
Don’t expect paintings by a variety of ISU students. The initial display will only show art from two people:
If it took almost two years to open a small gallery, imagine what government would do to Medicare for All.