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CHARLESTON -- Modifications for WEIU-TV's tower, needed to meet federal requirements, got the OK from Eastern Illinois University's Board of Trustees on Friday.

The work on the tower goes along with frequency changes the Federal Communications Commission required to make more frequencies available for cellphone providers, said Paul McCann, EIU's vice president for business.

"It's all done in connection with the repackaging process," he said.

The board's vote authorized the purchase of equipment and materials to replace the TV station's antennae and add 10 feet to the tower's height.

The projected cost of the project is $378,829 with a $34,439 contingency in place, all funded by the FCC, McCann said.

Also because of the frequency change requirements, WEIU will move from Channel 50 to Channel 30 but no interruption to the station's broadcasts are expected.

The work is scheduled to start during the summer with a deadline for completion by the end of the year.

Also Friday, the board approved about $820,000 in computer equipment purchases for the second phase of an updating process than began a year ago.

Lynette Drake, EIU interim vice president for student affairs, said the university's "overall retooling" of information technology will take about 7-9 years total.

The next phase, which will add more than 500 computers and also improve wiring, will be more efficient because of new equipment in place, she told the board.

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"The overall cost is significantly less than in the past," Drake said.

In other votes Friday, the board:

  • Approved a 1.5-percent increase in housing rates for the 2019-20 school year.

Drake said the increase will still leave EIU with "one of the lowest" student housing rates for Illinois public universities.

In another vote, the board approved the same percentage increase for the grant-in-aid fee, which funds scholarships. Drake said changes in that fee typically follow changes in housing rates.

  • Approved three majors for the university's Lumpkin College of Business and College of Health and Human Services.

The new majors offer bachelor's degrees for Hospitality and Tourism, Dietetics and Nutrition, and Human Service Program and Administration.

Each of those were previously offered as options for bachelor's degrees in Family and Consumer Sciences.

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Contact Dave Fopay at (217) 238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave

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Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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