ROMEOVILLE – Joliet Junior College officials broke ground on yet another facility Tuesday, this time to accommodate student growth at its Romeoville campus.
Tuesday marked the the beginning of the first significant construction at the campus since it opened in 1993, JJC officials said. A new building – slated to be 49,392 square feet in size – will be constructed to meet the space and academic needs of a growing student population.
The project is slated for completion in 2017.
“Romeoville and the surrounding communities in this portion of our district have seen continuous residential and business growth,” said Robert Wunderlich, JJC Board of Trustees Chairman, at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Enrollment at this JJC location alone has grown 45 percent in the last 10 years.”
The new building is part of JJC’s Master Plan, which is focused on construction and improvement projects for the college. With enrollment of about 4,000 students, the Romeoville campus is “experiencing the most pronounced growth,” compared to other campuses, according to the plan.
The new building will have two levels, student services, a bookstore, a cafeteria, classrooms, laboratories, a campus police space and faculty offices.
The Romeoville project represents more than expansion for JJC President Debra Daniels.
“Putting shovels in the ground today is more than just a symbolic gesture of the beginning of this project,” she said. “It is a reaffirmation of our commitment to teaching and learning and continuing our tradition of being a resource to the community.”
Romeoville Mayor John Noak said JJC has been key to the village’s economic growth and he’s been looking forward to the campus expansion for years.
“This is one of the most exciting [projects],” he said. “This continues to be a game changer. This location adds so much vibrance to our community in terms of bringing students in and out throughout the day.”
JJC has moved forward on several projects this year.
On Aug. 25, the college broke ground for the two-level Multipurpose Facility at the Joliet campus, which will house athletic activities and programs, as well as graduation ceremonies.
The Romeoville campus expansion and the Multipurpose Facility will be funded with a $45 million bond issuance and $4 capital assessment fee increase, college officials have said.
Before the groundbreaking of the Multipurpose Facility, JJC board trustees and officials met at the Joliet downtown Renaissance Center to discuss its renovation. The college has owned the property since 1980.
In June, JJC decided to move forward with interior work for the City Center campus project after struggling to secure state funding. The 96,000-square-foot building will house adult education, literacy, workforce development and culinary arts resources.