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Local News

JJC officials anticipate state funding for City Center campus project

State funding issues may be resolved

JOLIET – Joliet Junior College may potentially receive state funding needed for the City Center campus project.

At Tuesday’s ad hoc buildings and grounds committee meeting, JJC board trustees learned the college’s lobbyist, Curry & Associates LLC, suggested college officials wait on moving forward with the project until the end of May so they can try to secure $10 million in state funding – previously suspended – before they fund it themselves. 

“[They] felt that it was a possibility that it could get all solved by then,” said JJC President Debra Daniels. “If not, then we’re going to move forward. That’s the plan.”

“Let’s hope,” said Board trustee Michael O’Connell. 

Daniels said state officials are reviewing the City Center campus project. 

In April, the board approved using funding earmarked for other capital projects at the college to go toward interior work of the building after learning state officials placed $10 million in state funding under review.

State officials said the funding for the project was under review along with all other state spending. 

JJC officials have said the state placing money promised for the project on hold would have consequences for other capital projects at the college. Those projects include classroom renovations and computer and technology upgrades. 

Exterior work to the building was completed last year, but JJC officials need to complete the interior work. 

Board trustee Andy Mihelich has said JJC always had the money to complete the downtown building. But he had hoped the college would be reimbursed by the state when the funding became available. The $10 million placed under review this year was from the $25.5 million in state funding promised for the project. 

The 96,000-square-foot building at Chicago and Clinton streets will have the adult education and literacy department, workforce development and the culinary arts program.

New board committees 

During the JJC working session, Board Chair Jeff May proposed having a board finance committee to discuss spending. He said college officials have received questions on finance at JJC in the past, and he anticipates more questions in the future. 

“I want to make sure that is a time that everybody who has a question can go somewhere to get their questions answered, and for everybody to have a really good handle in terms of how JJC spends their money,” May said. 

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