Local legislators, Joliet Junior College trustees and other JJC officials toured the college’s new City Center Campus construction site Dec. 10 to see the building’s progress and receive updates on the development of the new facility in downtown Joliet.
Senator Pat McGuire; Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr.; Jim Murphy of the Mayor of Joliet’s office; Joliet City Manager Jim Hock; and Carole Cheney from Congressman Bill Foster’s office joined President Deb Daniels; JJC trustees Andy Mihelich, Jeff May, Barbara Adams, Tina Markley and Mike O’Connell; and others on a tour of the six-floor structure. The tours were led by representatives from Mortensen Construction, the company contracted to complete the core and shell of the building, and Demonica Kemper Architects, the architecture firm on the project.
“We were honored to be joined today by our legislators and city partners who came out to show their support and enthusiasm for our new campus,” said college spokeswoman Kelly Rohder. “This building will provide key services and programs to our district residents, as well as support economic development in the downtown Joliet area. We are a proud partner of the city of Joliet.”
The core and shell of the building is expected to be fully enclosed and completed by the end of January, 2014. Construction began on March 1, and the college held a groundbreaking ceremony in January 2013.
Features of the building include:
– Built to LEED-Silver standards
– Highly efficient heating and cooling systems
– High R-rating for insulation
– EPDM light-reflective roof
– High recycled content in building materials
– Tinted glass to minimize UV-ray penetration
When completed, the six-story, 96,000 sq. ft. structure will house the colleges Workforce Development, GED/ESL, Adult Education, and Culinary Arts programs in addition to general education space.
JJC’s Workforce Development (WD) provides various services to prepare youth, veterans, under- and un-employed individuals for entry into the workforce.
The JJC Department of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL) is also based in the City Center Campus, and it offers programs and services such GED preparation, high school credit, basic skills reviews, career and vocational counseling, English as a Second Language classes and Citizenship Test review. Additionally, the Culinary Arts program at JJC is recognized as one of the premier culinary training programs in the nation and is known around the world as a leader in culinary education. The program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation. A significant feature of the new building will be a fully operating restaurant run by the culinary program, which will be open to the public.
The total cost of the project is $58 million. The college’s funding strategy includes money promised from the state of Illinois, money received from other master plan projects that came in under budget, a successful 2008 referendum, and interest earned on bonds.
State funding for the project is promised at $25.5 million. The college is number one on the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) state priority list of institutions slated to receive funds for capital projects.
Programming for the interior build out of the structure is currently underway.