Panel voids architecture contract at the University of Illinois for conflict of interest

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (Image courtesy Flickr user Miracc.)

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (Miracc/Flickr)

The University of Illinois has come under fire from a state oversight board for allegedly violating state conflict-of-interest laws. A $4.6 million contract to renovate the Urbana-Champaign campus’ Natural History Building went to BLDD Architects—a central Illinois firm owned partially by a U of I planning administrator’s husband.

An advisory vote by the Procurement Board Tuesday sends the issue to the Illinois inspector general for investigation. The panel has voted twice to void the contract, but the state’s chief procurement officer for higher education vetoed the first vote.

The runner-up firms have said they will continue with BLDD’s design plans with minimal delay.

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