Illinois expected to announce football renovation plans on Monday

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman is expected to announce nine-figure renovation plans of Memorial Stadium during a scheduled Monday press conference.

Illinois announced Sunday night that Whitman will speak to the media at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, a half hour before Illini football coach Lovie Smith's weekly press conference. Though Illinois does not give a reason for the press conference, it has been a matter of when and not if Illinois announces its huge investment into bettering its football facilities.

Dating back to the Mike Thomas era, Illinois has pursued plans to renovate the south endzone, including construction of a multi-story building that will include a new football-only weight room, new coaches offices and an Illini football Hall of Fame.

Illini Inquirer publisher Jeremy Werner chats about the project in the video above.

Illinois football coaches have told recruits that the project is expected to be completed in 2019.

Illinois has invested heavily in the 93-year-old stadium during the past decade. The $100 million Illinois Renaissance Project, which began in 2006 and 2008, included renovation of the Great West Hall, addition of a 5,000-seat student section in the north end zone which sits atop a new weight room and the construction of stadium suites and a new press box. In 2013, the Illini added a new scoreboard in the south end zone and ribbon boards on the east and west sides.

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