New Illinois Extension facility to be built thanks to donation

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The Arboretum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is home to the Japan House, but it will soon be home to a first-of-its-kind facility–and that is thanks to an alumna.

Pampered Chef Founder Doris Kelley Christopher donated $45 million to build the future home of the Illinois Extension.

Extension Offices are in every county across the state and University officials plan for this new one to be a teaching facility and gathering center for all of them.

This will be the first centralized location for the Illinois Extension.

“We don’t have a heartbeat, heart center location for extension, until this facility comes to campus. So we hope it brings a lot of awareness to what they do, for students to get involved as undergraduates and graduate students through Extension programming, and to really bring to life what they do to make a difference in people’s lives every day,” said Kim Kidwell, College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences dean.

They do not expect construction to disrupt anything in the Arboretum. They hope to be inside by 2024 or 2025.

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