EUREKA, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s part of a larger college initiative to strengthen Eureka College’s first-generation program and to help students succeed with additional services.

“Our ultimate goal is that they will graduate, so we believe that this will be an opportunity to put them in a position of success,” said Arto Woodley, VP for advancement at Eureka College.

In the Spring of 2023, the Melick Library at the college will begin to undergo some changes. $2.5 million is bankrolling the updates, with half coming from the pockets of a private donor.

“This project brings all the different support services under one roof, so you’ll have the academic support, as well as the student life support under one roof, which makes it a more seamless transition,” said the VP of Finance and Facilities/CFO for Eureka College Craig Maynard.

The donor who made it all happen wanted to be a part of an initiative that helped those who never had many resources before or during college.

More than 50% of the student body are first-generation college students.

“This is a great boost for our efforts for supporting all students and making sure that students graduate, come here and they’re successful and graduate and be launched into their careers,” said Woodley.

Career services, a learning center, and a new café are all set to be completed by the end of 2023 but may continue into the spring of 2024.