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Local News

State Budget proposal: Construction funds finally get to JJC

The Joliet Junior College Campus Center building on March 22.
The Joliet Junior College Campus Center building on March 22.

SPRINGFIELD – Joliet Junior College could finally receive $10 million promised three years ago if the state budget crisis is resolved.

The latest budget was rejected by Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday, but the Senate has overridden his veto and the House is expected to vote on the same issue Thursday. The spending plan that was submitted specifies for a $10 million grant from the capital development fund to be given to JJC for construction of the City Center Campus – which opened in January.

The school first got the grant from former Gov. Pat Quinn in October 2014, but those funds were frozen shortly after Rauner took office. Using surplus funds from other sources, trustees went ahead with the $58 million building – $25.5 million of which was pledged by the state – to complete construction on schedule.

"Despite the financial turbulence at the state level, we concluded the majority of the construction work on that project to open the new campus," JJC spokeswoman Kelly Rohder said Wednesday.

"We were able to continue the important work of providing critical educational opportunities with an improved facility that features more classrooms and more space for student services support," Rohder said. "All in all, we would be pleased to receive a portion of the promised allocation."

The six-story building at Chicago and Webster streets houses the college's culinary arts and workforce development programs, and adult education and literacy department.

The proposed state budget funds community college operations at 90 percent of the 2015 (the most recent fiscal year with a state budget) level. JJC could expect to receive just over $7 million this year if the budget is approved.

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