Governor Pat Quinn announced a $10 million state investment to help finish ongoing construction of the new downtown Joliet Junior College City Center Campus at a press conference Oct. 11.
Quinn made the announcement at the new site, which will offer increased space for key college programs including workforce development, adult education, and the nationally-renowned culinary arts program.
“We are thrilled to receive this money. This support from our governor and our state indicates a true understanding of the importance of our mission, which is to provide access to quality and affordable education,” Dr. Debra Daniels, JJC president, said. “In addition, we believe this is a wonderful investment in downtown Joliet and Will County and will benefit generations to come.”
The Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program will provide $10 million to help finish the interior work on the 96,000 square-foot, six-story building at 235 North Chicago Street in downtown Joliet. The college has completed exterior work on the building, and once the interior work is finished the facility will be the new home of the college’s workforce development, adult education, and renowned culinary arts programs. In addition to multiple commercial-style teaching kitchens, the building will include a restaurant, student dining area, library, general classrooms, and office space. The project should be complete in 2016.
“Joliet Junior College has been preparing students for lucrative careers for many years,” Governor Quinn said. “The City Center campus will allow the college to reach even more people and turn even more diplomas into paychecks.”
The City Center campus is a $58 million project that includes funding from the state, the college, and a 2008 referendum. The campus is designed to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver certification, a testament to its energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly design.
In addition to the City Center Campus, JJC facilities include the main campus on Houbolt Road in Joliet, satellite campus in Romeoville, and education centers in Frankfort, Morris, and the Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center in Joliet. The college also offers classes at area high schools.
JJC is the nation’s first public community college, and offers pre-baccalaureate programs for students planning to transfer to a four-year university. The college provides occupational education leading directly to employment, adult education and literacy programs, workforce development services, and student support services.