House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced the release of $10 million in grant funding to Joliet Junior College for the construction costs of the college’s new downtown City Center campus. The project began in March 2013 and the building was open for classes in January 2017.
“As the nation’s first public community college, we must ensure that these institutions receive critical funding to offer the best educational services to over 35,000 students every year,” Durkin said. “In addition to enhancing educational opportunities and workforce development, this project also revitalizes Joliet’s downtown area and makes it more attractive for businesses to call Joliet home.”
The six-story, 96,000 square foot building in downtown Joliet houses the college’s workforce development, GED/ESL training, adult education and culinary arts programs. These programs have a direct impact on improving employment opportunities for students and community members. The new campus also offers two new restaurants that are run by the culinary arts program and a part of the college’s curriculum.
“This investment in education supports high-tech classrooms, learning labs, student support areas, and community gathering spaces,” Dr. Judy Mitchell, JJC president, said. “We could not have completed this project without the support of our partners at the state level—so we thank them for their belief in us and their ultimate investment in the education of our community. We build futures at Joliet Junior College, and the City Center Campus is a critical piece of our campus master planning efforts for this area of our district. I am pleased to see our vision realized.”
Joliet Junior College has been a staple of downtown Joliet since it was established in 1901, and is the nation’s first public community college. The grant funding comes from the state’s Capital Development Board.