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Local News

Joliet Junior College approves new Morris location

Trustee: new location a 'win-win'

JOLIET — The new location for the Joliet Junior College Morris Education Center was approved Tuesday by board trustees.

College officials have proposed moving the Morris location from 1715 N. Division St. to the soon-to-be empty Shabbona Middle School, which is about a mile away. 

When the proposal was made at the May 31 workshop meeting, board Vice Chairman Andrew Mihelich said he wanted to see the projection of total costs and specific course offerings. 

He said Tuesday he had reservations the new location could come close to a “cost recovery” item. He asked if Randall Fletcher, academic affairs vice president, would be responsible for revenue generation out of the new facility and JJC Interim President Judy Mitchell said yes. 

Trustee Michael O’Connell said the current location for the center is costing JJC about $90,000 a year and the new place would only be $36,000 at the most.

“I think it’s a win-win all over,” O’Connell said.

Fletcher many of the college’s career certificate programs lend themselves to the new location and can allow for lecture-type classes. He said it’s possible the college can market full degree programs at the new location. 

All trustees voted to approve the lease for the Shabbona Middle School location. Trustee Daniel O'Connell and Student Trustee Kathleen Duong were absent.

The proponents of new location were Caroline Portlock, JJC workforce development director; and Marsha McCormick, JJC extended campuses and high school relations director. 

Portlock had said to the trustees that part of the reason the new location would be beneficial is that it presents more opportunities to increase and enhance JJC’s image. The new location would also allow for a tutoring and testing area, six classrooms and two computer labs.

It would also be closer to the Grundy Area Vocational Center and Morris Community High School.

Enrollment is projected to increase at the new location as well, from 300 to 600 students. The number of classrooms would increase from four to eight and computer labs from one to two. 

According to JJC's website, the current Morris Education Center opened in August 2001 and provides three semi-smart rooms, a computer lab, seating for 24 students in each of its rooms, offers credit and non-credit classes and English as a Second Language and General Education Development programs. 

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