Health Professions Building Groundbreaking Ceremony Video, Photos

Groundbreaking ceremony video

Groundbreaking ceremony photos

Around 75 people—including Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi and Rep. Emily McAsey—attended the college’s Health Professions groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 25, held in the T-Building Conference Center.

Another special guest was iStan, the nursing program’s patient simulator that, in addition to being the anchor of photos with dignitaries, was part of a demonstration with students highlighting new technologies in the program.

The 124,000 square-foot building will be constructed in the open area north of the existing T-Building and will allow the college to offer new, in-demand programs.

Mary Beth Luna, Nursing and Allied Health Department chair, said new programs planned for the building are ultrasound technician, surgical technician, medical assistant, physical therapy assistant, pharmacy technician, and massage therapy.

The college’s nursing and radiologic technology programs will not increase greatly due to the need for more clinical sites in the area, Luna said. Taking a clinical is a requirement for students to earn their degree.

The nursing program at JJC is already the largest associate degree program in the state and one of the few with a full evening program. There are currently 357 students in the nursing program, and with the new building, that number will most likely increase by eight to 16 students, Luna added.

The nursing assistant, fire science, and emergency medical services programs will be able to expand their numbers as well based on the added space.

At the event, JJC President Dr. Proulx shared employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008 through 2018. The projections reveal that the health care and social assistance industry will make up approximately 26 percent of all new jobs created in the U.S. economy, which add up to four million new jobs.

And in a recent report by the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago, she added, the health care and social assistance field is also projected to have the largest increase in jobs through 2020, expected to add more than 80,000 jobs through 2015 and more than 140,000 through 2020.

“These are impressive numbers and they support the importance of this new building in meeting critical skills shortages in the labor market,” Proulx said. “We believe this modern learning environment will be critical to providing our students the training they need to take advantage of the many job opportunities available.”

According to Legat Architects, the building will have an area that simulates an authentic hospital environment for the nursing program. The simulation wing will feature a check-in desk, a nurse station, and four hospital rooms.

In addition, the Emergency Medical Services program will have an area with labs set up to simulate situations in which EMTs may have to evaluate and transport patients, such as a bedroom and a bathroom. In the fire science technology area, large bays will allow a fire engine to enter the facility.

The massage therapy program will have practice rooms where the JJC community can receive inexpensive massages by the students-in-training. The building will also have an auditorium which can hold 180 people for large events such as conferences and workshops.

In addition to area legislators, Board of Trustees Chair Bob Wunderlich, Vice Chair Barbara DeLaney, and board members Susan Klen, Jeff May, Andy Mihelich, and Dan O’Connell, attended, as well as Mike Bohn of Gilbane Construction and Jeff Sronkoski of Legat.

Ongoing projects include the Automotive Tech expansion, Natural Sciences expansion and renovation, new Campus Center, new Facility Services Building, City Center Campus/White Store demolition, and the natural areas restoration.

Programs housed in the Health Professions Building:
Nursing, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Radiologic Technology, Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomy, EKG, CPR, Pharmacy Technician, Ultrasound, Massage Therapy, Medical Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Sustainable Features

  • Planned to be 30% more efficient than the latest energy standards (ASHRAE 90.1)
  • Heat recovery and radiant heating systems conserve energy and distribute heat efficiently
  • Chilled air beam system reduces recirculated air, maximizes fresh air, and cools rooms efficiently
  • Ground-based geothermal system further reduces heating/cooling load
  • Roof cistern captures rainwater for toilet flushing

For more information on master plan projects, visit

About wpadmin