A $4.6 million University of Illinois contract given to an architecture firm is on hold and under scrutiny after it emerged the company is partly owned by the husband of a school administrator. The contract with BLDD Architects is part of the renovation of the Natural History Building on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Bruce Maxey owns 8.9 percent of BLDD. His wife, Jill Maxey, is the university's associate director of planning and a former BLDD employee. Her job includes construction-project oversight. The state Procurement Policy Board plans to review the contract, which some board members want voided. The school signed the deal without board approval. The state requires such approval on contracts with potential conflicts of interest. University officials say they've operated within the law.
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