Q: What's the new tower that is going up on Race Street between Curtis and Old Church?
A: That’s the new $20 million feed mill, which will replace the University of Illinois’ 92-year-old structure on St. Mary’s Road.
“The ‘tower’ is indeed the heart of the new Feed Technology Center,” Rod Johnson, head of the Department of Animal Sciences, said in an email. “The slip-form concrete pour began last Tuesday at 7 a.m. 16 feet below grade. By Thursday at midnight, the concrete structure reached its peak height of 74 feet above grade. Very impressive for 3+ days of work. Three grain bins with a total storage capacity of 200,000 bushels will go up in the next week or two. Construction of the FTC (Feed Technology Center) began June 3, and it is expected to be in full operation by next fall.”
The new facility will deliver 8,000 tons of specialized research diets each year, which University of Illinois animal nutrition scientists will use in their research on livestock and companion animals.
The Montana-based company ASI Industrial is building the new feed mill.
The UI has contributed $6 million to the project, with the rest covered by private donations.
The Illinois Farm Bureau and the animal feed company Alltech Inc. have committed to the project, and the ag equipment manufacturer AGCO donated the three 42-feet diameter grain bins.
And last month at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Archer Daniels Midland announced a $2.5 million contribution to the project.