Sept. 3, 2013

Ellen 2

This edition of the Good NewsLink features development across Southwestern Illinois in which many of our members are involved. Expansions in Granite City; investments in our educational sector; the opening of new stores and restaurants; and flood protection all make an appearance. Also making headlines is the millions of dollars in grants given to hospitals in Madison and St. Clair counties. Keep reading for more information on these and other advances in our communities.


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Kraft expands operations in Granite City (The Alton Telegraph, 8/21/13)

State and local officials recently announced plans for the Kraft Foods Group to invest $40 million in a manufacturing facility and create 30 new jobs over the next two years. The plant, which makes ready-to-drink beverages, currently employs 410 workers. (Read More)


$1 billion worth of investments spurs Granite City growth (KTVI, 8/23/13)

Recent investments in Granite City have topped $1 billion dollars with over $900 million of that coming from corporations rather than taxpayers. The city expects the investments will produce 600 new jobs and have helped to retain 4,600 existing jobs. (Read More)


State releases $23 million for SIUE science building (Belleville News-Democrat, 8/27/13) 

After more than a decade of political wrangling and construction, the last phase of the university's science building project has a green light. Gov. Pat Quinn was at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville last Tuesday to announce that $23 million for the renovation of the older science building has been appropriated and released. 


$3.2 Million in Grants to Madison and St. Clair County Hospitals (, 8/11/13)

Governor Pat Quinn has announced $3.2 million in investments to hospitals in Madison and St. Clair counties, part of $24.3 million in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program to address the critical needs of downstate health care institutions. (Read More)


Mascoutah moves forward with elementary school plans (Belleville News-Democrat, 9/1/13)

Mascoutah School District 19 is solidifying plans for its new elementary school in Shiloh. The school board recently approved constructing a two-story, 68,000-square-foot building at a cost of approximately $25 million. Construction of the new school on Wingate Boulevard in the Villages of Wingate subdivision is expected to begin this spring.


Lebanon to build new grade school, replacing 80-year-old structure (Belleville News-Democrat, 8/30/13)

Lebanon Community Unit School District 9 is moving forward with plans to construct a new grade school, which will replace the current 80-year-old school. Current plans call for construction of a 40,000-square-foot, 25-classroom building with the capacity for 400 students.  The project is expected to go out for bid in December with construction slated to start soon after. Voters approved a $7.5 million bond issue for a new elementary school building in Lebanon in 2010.


Impact Strategies is building its second area GFS Marketplace store (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/30/13)

Impact Strategies Inc. recently completed the construction of a GFS Marketplace store in Fairview Heights and now is building a second GFS Marketplace store in St. Peters.Both stores are owned by Gordon Food Service, a family-owned food service distributor based in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Read More) 


Fairview Heights council votes to renovate community center (Belleville News-Democrat, 8/20/12) 

The Fairview Heights City Council on Tuesday night approved a $612,700 renovation of the community center on Bunkum Road. The council voted to permit Mayor Gail Mitchell to enter into a contract to renovate the interior of the community center at 10025 Bunkum Road so it can be used as a community recreation center. (Read More)


Flood protection: Failing levees would mean 'incalculable' economic loss (Belleville News-Democrat, 8/27/13)

Six years after federal officials said they did not have faith in the metro-east levee system, construction will soon begin to buoy the area's defense against floods. The Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council expects construction work to begin at the end of September on $150 million of current and future levee improvements, according to the group's Chief Supervisor Les Sterman.(Read More) 


Sam's Club to open Thursday (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 8/27/13

More than three years in the making, Sam's Club in Glen Carbon will open its doors to the public Thursday. Located near the southwest intersection of Troy Road and Center Grove Road, the 136,000-square-feet retailer kicks things off at 8 a.m. with a ceremony that will feature 160 Sam's Clubs associates and local dignitaries. (Read More)


Robust's New Edwardsville Location, Now Open (, 8/21/13)

Robust Wine Bar & Cafe's highly anticipated new Edwardsville location opens today with dinner service at 5pm at 126 N Main Street in the former Erato on Main space. Robust, an award-winning wine bar, shoppe and café, opened its flagship location in Webster Groves in September 2007. The Downtown at The MX location opened its doors in late December 2012.(Read More)

In Other News

SWIC places among the top 100 community colleges (The Intelligencer, 8/26/13)

Southwestern Illinois College has again placed highly among the country's top providers of associate degrees and certificates. According to the June 2013 report from Community College Week magazine, SWIC placed in the top 100 or top 50 in six categories - two more than last year - out of the approximately 3,000 postsecondary institutions in the U.S. conferring associate degrees and certificates. (Read More) 


Washington Monthly gives SIUE high marks (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 8/30/13)

For the fourth-consecutive year, national magazine Washington Monthly has ranked Southern Illinois University Edwardsville among the Top 60 out of the 684 master's universities in the nation. SIUE is 23rd among public institutions on that list. Unlike conventional college rankings, Washington Monthly evaluates an institution's "contribution to the public good" in three broad categories: Social Mobility - recruiting and graduating low-income students; Research - producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs; and Service - encouraging students to give something back to their country. (Read More) 



Leadership Council members associated with projects in this issue


Madison County IL  

SunCoke Energy  


Impact Strategies Logo


Holland Logo

Ittner Logo

ACP logo cropped

St. Clair County Seal

Anderson Hospital


Contact Information

Ellen Krohne, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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