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May 7, 2012


Greetings ~


The past two weeks were highlighted by a variety of positive Metro East news stories that bode well for the future of our region. Topping the list was the announcement that work is set to proceed on the $161 million levee improvement project, putting people to work right now and helping to secure the economic future of the entire Metro East. Positive trends in the housing sector, forward progress on the new Science Building at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and completion of the new multi-million dollar office building by Scott Air Force Base are all also worth noting. So, too, are a couple of recent articles that introduce the new Chancellor at SIUE and highlight the many achievements of retiring Chancellor and Leadership Council Executive Committee Member Vaughn Vandegrift.


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Real estate agents break down the St. Louis market (St. Louis Business Journal, 4/27/12)


Leadership Council Chairman Gerry Schuetzenhofer, president of Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors, is one of several real estate experts interviewed for this St. Louis Business Journal story, in which he points to positive signs in the Metro East housing market. Schuetzenhofer cites an increase in the number of active listings his firm was handling at the end of March 2012 compared to March 31, 2011, as well as the Multiple Listing Service's latest statistics, which show a 14 percent increase in sales volume in Madison and St. Clair counties for the first quarter of 2012 compared to Q1 2011. (Read More)


Timetable set to finish Metro East levee work in 2014 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/2/12)

The Post-Dispatch was one of several local media outlets that announced the release of the construction schedule for the $161 million project to bring the Metro East levees up to required new federal standards.Work is set to start on June 6, and to be finished by Dec. 31, 2014. Members of the Levee Issues Alliance, which is administered by the Leadership Council, made the announcement at a press conference on May 1st, during which they also activated a "Countdown to Completion Clock" on the alliance's website, In an effort to reinforce that timely completion of the project remains the top priority for the region, the clock is designed to help the public and local officials follow the progress and 'sound the alarm" if delays threaten the anticipated completion of the project. The improvements are essential to ensuring that the levee system continues to be FEMA-certified and to safeguard the homes and businesses of the 156,000 residents and 55,000 workers that lie behind it in the American Bottom. (Read More)


New Science Building at SIUE is addressing a big campus need (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/4/12)

As SIUE continues to reach new records in terms of enrollment, the Post-Dispatch is reporting that the new $52 million science building will be open by January, helping to address the university's need for additional facilities for its science programs. The new facility will connect to the adjoining existing science building, more than doubling the current space. In addition, the new art building is scheduled to open this fall. (Read More)

New $5.5 million office building at Shiloh is leased to the Mitre Corp. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/4/12)

Leadership Council member Contegra Construction has completed construction work on a new 22,000 square foot building being leased by Mitre Corp. Located off Illinois Route 158 in Shiloh, near Scott Air Force Base, Mitre is using the building as a research and development center for government agencies. The $5.5 million building is owned by Maune Co. The Post-Dispatch reports that the building occupies just a portion of a 20-acre site that may be developed as an office park or warehouse facilities.
(Read More)


What's opening in the old Borders building in Fairview Heights (Belleville News-Democrat, 4/23/12)


Will Buss reports in his retail column in the Belleville News-Democrat that Designer Shoe Warehouse, the retail chain that sells women's designer shoes, will be establishing its first Metro East location in Fairview Heights by the fall. More commonly known as DSW, the store will be moving into an existing building at 6601 N. Illinois St. previously occupied by Borders. For additional details and updates on other new venues coming to the Metro East, click here: (Read More)


New IBEW hall uses solar power (The Alton Telegraph, 4/26/12)

A recent story in The Alton Telegraph highlights the use of solar power in the new union hall and training center recently completed for The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 649. Members put their expertise to work on their own campus with the installation of 18-foot solar trees on a newly poured parking lot. The solar panels produce 48 kilowatts of electricity, which is equal to 48,000 watts, enough to power the two buildings on the campus. IBEW Local 649 leadership trains its apprentices in solar photovoltaic generation technology. The Telegraph reports the entire project not only is Local 649 member-built but also union-built by organized labor through Southwestern Illinois Building Trades, from carpenters to plumbers. (Read More)


In Other News 



Julie Furst-Bowe introduced as next SIUE chancellor (The Alton Telegraph, 4/27/12)

The Telegraph's Sandford Schmidt sat in on the recent announcement ceremony introducing Julie Furst-Bowe as SIUE's new chancellor and shares some insights from the event in the April 27th edition of the paper. Currently the provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis., Furst-Bowe will replace retiring Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift on July 2 as she takes advantage of what she calls " . . .an outstanding opportunity for me professionally and personally." (Read More)


Retiring SIUE chancellor: Not easy to walk away from career (Belleville News Democrat, 5/3/12)

The leadership changes at SIUE also were the focus of a recent BND article, in which reporter Elizabeth Donald highlights some of retiring Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift's significant accomplishments since he took the position back in 2004. For Vandegrift, changing SIUE's reputation became one of his biggest goals, and it's a goal he clearly met. (Read More)


Contact Information

Scott Schanuel

 Interim Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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