JJC trustees vote for bond issue to support priority projects

JOLIET, Ill. — The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees adopted a resolution of intent last week to issue $45 million in bonds to fund priority projects outlined in the updated 2013 JJC Master Plan.

Within this financial plan, $45 million would be earmarked to fund the construction of a multipurpose facility on the Main Campus and build an expansion to the Romeoville Campus, both priority projects in the master plan update.

These alternate revenue bonds would be supported by students through capital assessment fees and be based on a per-credit-hour rate. The college’s current bond rating from Standard and Poor's (S&P) is AA.

"A major goal of the board of trustees is to have JJC be the first choice of high school seniors when they choose a college," said Board Chairman Andy Mihelich. "To realize this goal, JJC needs to address all aspects of a student's development. Our plans for the multipurpose center and expansion of our Romeoville Campus will greatly help us be a better, more-comprehensive community college whose focus is student learning."

The board has considered multiple financing plans over the last six months and, in April, trustees approved a master plan update, completed by Legat Architects. The 2013 Master Plan Update reconsiders 2008 master plan projects not yet implemented, examines new projects, and recommends priorities that respond to various challenges facing the college in the future.

Expansion of the Romeoville Campus — constructed in 1993 — is a top priority for the college, with its enrollment topping out at 4,000 students and continuing to grow. The master plan calls for additional space for academic programs and student development services to respond to this growth.

The multipurpose facility was included in the college’s 2008 master plan, but not implemented. This building, planned for construction on the south side of the college’s Main Campus on Houbolt Road, is envisioned to include athletics, physical education, and conference center and corporate training space.

A notice of the Bond Issue Notification Act hearing regarding the sale of the bonds at its July 30 meeting will be posted on July 10.