Recent News 

J- and K-Building Renovations will expand music and theatre Programs  

As part of the Master Plan’s goal of increasing academic space at the college, the music program will be tripling its space this fall when renovations on the third floor of J-Building are complete. The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredited program has been operating with very limited space the past several years, making scheduling and adding new classes difficult.

The program will now be gaining a recording lab, classrooms, practice rooms, band and choir rooms, storage, and faculty offices in the space that formerly held the library.

“The added classrooms and improved rehearsal space is very exciting,” said Charles Morgan, associate professor of music at JJC. “We have also added a recording studio so that we can expand our program offerings to include digital recording and media.”

One feature that has been incorporated in the new space is additional layers of drywall and sound batt insulation, which will greatly reduce sound transmission between walls. The new music program location also includes “shelled space” that will allow the program to expand as needed in the future.

The theatre program will be also be expanding when a new black box theatre opens this fall on the first floor of K-Building in the former band room space. The 70-75 seat auditorium will provide a space for more intimate theatre productions. The first play in the black box theatre will be held in October.


Facility Services Building Receives LEED Gold Certification

Joliet Junior College’s Facility Services Building was recently awarded LEED-NC Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first building of its kind at a higher education institution in the nation to receive this level of certification.

Designed by Legat Architects and constructed by Gilbane Building Co., the Facility Services Building’s new mechanical and electrical systems resulted in a 42% reduction in energy use and an annual savings of approximately 37% in operating costs.

“The Facility Services Building really embodies JJC’s commitment to sustainable leadership,” said Larry Bacher, Gilbane’s project executive for the JJC effort. “The college used some of the most innovative methods available to reduce the building’s overall impact on the environment. With its high-performance technologies, the facility is showing the return on investment in terms of operational costs.”

View photos from the grand opening event

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Sustainable elements of the building include:

• Geothermal HVAC system to reduce heating and cooling loads
• Reflective roof surface to reduce heat gain
• Solar heat collectors tied to outside air intake to minimize the amount of energy used to heat the inside of the building
• Use of LED lighting in all areas of the building
• Motion sensors for lighting in occupied spaces
• Operable, high-efficiency windows to improve ventilation and bring in fresh air
• More than 75 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills
• Use of recycled and locally sourced materials during construction
• Low-VOC paints, adhesives, and sealants used in all spaces of the building

“We always work to find the most efficient, cost effective means to operate while acting in an ecologically responsible manner,” Kelly Rohder, JJC spokeswoman, said. “The Facility Services Building is a symbol of the college’s commitment to energy efficiency and environmental respect.”

The 42,500-sq.-ft. building, the second building completed in JJC’s Master Plan, consolidates JJC’s custodial, maintenance, environmental safety, planning/construction, roads/grounds, and facility scheduling staff. The new building replaced 42-year-old temporary buildings that had previously housed the Facility Services functions.

The Illinois Capital Development Board provided the funding for the Facility Services Building as part of the 2009 Illinois Jobs Now program. The project put 150 people back to work and invested 8.81 million dollars in the community.



College Celebrates Groundbreaking for Health Professions Building

Around 75 people—including Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi and Rep. Emily McAsey—attended the college’s Health Professions wilhelmi, mcasey, stan, proulxgroundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 25, held in the T-Building Conference Center.

Groundbreaking ceremony video
Groundbreaking ceremony photos
Another special guest was iStan, the nursing program’s patient simulator that, in addition to being the anchor of photos with dignitaries, was part of a demonstration with students highlighting new technologies in the program.
The 124,000 square-foot building will be constructed in the open area north of the existing T-Building and will allow the college to offer new, in-demand programs.
Mary Beth Luna, Nursing and Allied Health Department chair, said new programs planned for the building are ultrasound technician, surgical technician, medical assistant, physical therapy assistant, pharmacy technician, and massage therapy.
The college’s nursing and radiologic technology programs will not increase greatly due to the need for more clinical sites in the area, Luna said. Taking a clinical is a requirement for students to earn their degree.


New Interactive Map Helps Navigate Construction Areas on Main Campus

The college's web team has developed and designed an interactive Main Campus map in January. It maintains up-to-date information and changes due to construction.
To access the map, click on the About tab at the top of the college's home page and then click on the Campuses link. It is also available at
The map allows users to quickly and efficiently find building locations and view updated construction areas.

In addition, Media Services has added a QR code to the campus digital signage displays that allows anyone with a smart phone to download a PDF copy of the main campus map directly to their device.

A barcode reader application and PDF reader must be installed on the phone to scan the code and view the map. These apps are available for free from your phone service provider.

For questions on this new feature, contact Media Services at ext. 6649.
QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.


White Store Auction Oct. 30

Joliet Junior College will hold a silent auction of items remaining in the White Store building on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the White Store, 235 N. Chicago St., in downtown Joliet. 
The auction will be held in the parking lot south of the building. Bidding will commence at 9 a.m. and end at noon. Winners will be notified at noon when the bidding is completed.
All items need to be removed the day of the sale. Cash or check with proper ID will be accepted, and no items can be removed until payment is made in full.
All items will be sold as is. The college is not responsible for accidents or items after they are sold. In addition, sale day announcements take precedence over printed material.
A photo gallery including a partial listing of items is available to view.   
For more information about the auction, email


City Center Update: White Store Demolition After Asbestos Removal

City Center Campus Update: White Store Demolition After Asbestos Removal Complete
Before JJC can implement plans for a new City Center Campus and bring hundreds of students to downtown Joliet, college officials are working through complex plans to salvage materials and remove several areas of asbestos from the 102-year-old structure that currently stands on the site of the new college campus.

The demolition of the White Store, located at 235 N. Chicago St., and subsequent building of a new campus on that site is a multi-pronged process, Tammy Rust, JJC vice president of administrative services, said. 
First, a contractor for the demolition process is expected to be chosen by the end of October. But before the demolition can begin, the contractor must remove asbestos throughout the 40,000 square feet of space in the four-story White Store building.
“There is a building paper between the wood floors and subfloor, and that paper is asbestos,” Larry Bacher of Gilbane Building Company said in his Oct. 12 master plan presentation to the JJC board of trustees. “So what we need to do is carefully remove the wood floor and then remove the paper.”
Demolition is scheduled for November, but may push into January, due to the complexity of asbestos removal. A ceremonial groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for mid-December at the site.
Read more

JJC Acquires White Store

On Sept. 9, Joliet Junior College completed the $480,000 deal with the city of Joliet to acquire the property at 235 N. Chicago St., also known as the White Store.
The land, which is adjacent to the college's Renaissance Center, will be the site for the college's new City Center Campus.
"Completing the sale of the White Store is a big step forward for the college," Dr. Proulx said. "Now, we can begin our work to create a campus in downtown Joliet that will provide learning opportunities for our residents in a new facility that will be a complement to the cityscape of downtown Joliet."
Demolition of the building is tentatively scheduled for November, along with a groundbreaking ceremony tentatively scheduled for the Dec. 14 board of trustees meeting, which will be held at the City Center Campus.

JJC Moves Forward with Downtown Joliet Campus Plans

Building plans are moving forward for the Joliet Junior College City Center Campus after the Joliet City Council on Aug. 16 approved the sale of the adjacent White Store building at 235 Chicago Street to the college.

At the meeting, Dominick Domenica of DKA Architecture presented three different renderings for a new 150,000-square-foot building that would stand on the White Store property at the corner of Chicago and Webster Streets.

The proposed 10-story structure would house the college's nationally renowned culinary arts and hospitality programs as well as workforce development, GED/ESL training, and adult education programs. The college estimates that this plan would bring over 500 additional JJC students to the downtown Joliet area.

Read more

JJC Approves Development Team for City Center Campus Project
 City Center Campus entrance

The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Mortenson Development, Inc., to assist the college with its City Center Campus project.
Mortenson, based in Elk Grove Village, was one of eight firms to respond to the request for qualifications process for the project, which includes relocating the college’s nationally renowned culinary arts and hospitality program to downtown Joliet.
The location will also continue to provide workforce development, GED/ESL training, and adult education programs.
Along with architect and construction management duties, the development team may also advise the college in pursuing additional financing for the project. Read more about the City Center Campus project

Construction Continues as Facility Services Building Takes Shape

 Facility Services Building Construction


Work continues outside of J-Building on the college's new Facility Services Building. The structure, scheduled to be completed in spring 2011, will be home to the college's facility services staff. View a timelapse animation of the new building.

JJC Celebrates Grand Opening of Greenhouse Facility

JJC Greenhouse Grand Opening


The Joliet Junior College Greenhouse Facility grand opening gathered architects, construction company and local legislative representatives, the JJC community and college donors in a ceremony to celebrate the building, the first to be completed as part of JJC's ongoing master plan.

Jason Lembke of Legat Architects told the audience gathered in the building’s classroom that they were sitting in one of the most technologically advanced greenhouses in the country. JJC is the first community college in the nation to have a LEED-registered greenhouse.

Mike Brown of Gilbane Building Co. said he was proud to have been a part of the project.

"Virtually 100 percent of the work on this building was completed by the local workforce in this district," Brown told the crowd. "That’s what investing in our community is all about."

Those who attended the opening received an herb potted in a biodegradable cornstarch container.

In addition to the multi-purpose classroom where the formal ceremony was held, guests walked on self-guided tours of the three greenhouses, which total nearly 9,000 square feet, where they learned about different sustainable systems like the ebb and flow rolling flood bench system for watering. In the ebb and flow system, each bench has a set of tanks underneath to store the water supply. Watering is controlled with a timer, while horizontal air flow fans, near the top of all three greenhouses, provide constant air circulation and help in the prevention of diseases.

"These systems you see here today are something that I’ve dreamed about for a long time," Jim Ethridge, professor of horticulture, said."

Dr. Gena Proulx, JJC president, added that community colleges are uniquely positioned to serve their local community’s needs.

"Today marks the first of several investments that we are making in your community college as part of the master plan," Proulx said. "We thank you for your continued support in making JJC a leader in teaching, learning and innovation."

Campus Center Takes Shape as Steel is Put in Place

Campus Center Construction
For many months now, the college’s new Campus Center has been seen mostly through computer-generated renderings or more recently, as a big muddy hole in the ground. But this week, thanks to the erection of steel girders that will form the skeleton of the new building, the Campus Center is finally beginning to take shape. (View photo gallery.)

From the site of the old greenhouses between the A- and C-Buildings, erected steel is beginning to form the front of the building, which, when finished, will be considered the new front door of the Main Campus.

The rear of the building is also beginning to take shape. A curved area, this section will serve as the back wall of the cafeteria. It can be seen from the temporary outdoor walkway connecting the A- and C-Buildings. In the front and the back, the footings for the building are being poured.

The Campus Center is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2011.


J-Building Parking Changes Scheduled this Spring

The college will be reconfiguring its north parking lots in March to J Parking Lot accommodate construction of the Facility Services building project.

This will affect both staff and student parking in those areas because the new building's location is directly in front of J-Building and extends into faculty/staff lot.
Affected parking spaces in the J-Building faculty/staff lot (North Lot 1) will be relocated along the easternmost rows of the J-Building student parking lot (North Lot 2) and designated as faculty/staff parking Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Signage will be placed in these areas to indicate the change.

These spaces will be open to students and the public after 6 p.m. and on the weekends.  

Read more

Greenhouse Facility Opens for Classes  
Grand opening ceremony set for April 13 

Completed in December 2009, JJC's new greenhouse facility is the first project to be built as part of the college’s master plan. It features a multi-purpose classroom and three greenhouses totaling nearly 9,000 square feet.

The LEED-certified building also features a rainwater harvesting system, passive ventilation system that reduces energy consumption, and an energy reflective roof surface to reflect solar energy and reduce cooling loads.

The college will hold a grand opening for the building on April 13. More information will be sent out as it becomes available. 

Outdoor Area Between A- and C-Buildings to Close the Week of Nov. 16

A new walkway is being constructed to provide access between the A- and C-Buildings since the current outdoor area will be closed during Campus Center construction. This area will close the week of Nov. 16 and will remain closed until construction of the Campus Center is completed.

New walkway traffic pattern map

From that point on, access between the A- and C-Buildings will only be allowed through the constructed walkway. B-Building can be accessed from the south side entrance near V-Building or through the hallway in C-Building.
Please Note-B-Building Access 2nd floor: For students or staff members with disabilities who need to access the second floor of B-Building, you will need to take the elevator in T-Building to the second floor, and cross into the B-Building from the second floor of A-Building.
New directional signage will be posted throughout the affected areas. We appreciate your patience during this construction period. 

Forty-year Temporary Building Demolished

It was a building demolition 40 years in the making. View slideshow of KK Building Demolition.

And when the Kaskaskia (KK) Building finally started coming down, it marked the end of one era and the beginning of another.

The college demolished the KK building, one of five remaining temporary buildings from 1969 that were used while the Main Campus was constructed, to prepare for construction of the new campus center building.

"As exciting as it was to see the beginning of the demolition, I couldn't help but reflect back on 40 years ago," Dr. Gena Proulx said. "I am certain there was an air of excitement as ground was being broken to construct the temporary buildings for what was to be a new community college."

"Our excitement today for the future builds on that past and reminds us of the many trustees, faculty, staff and students who have been served well over the past years."

The removal of the KK building and the other green survivors is being funded by the state's $31 billion capital plan. The college received approximately $8.1 million through the Capital Development Board for the temporary facilities replacement project, which will cover the demolition and removal of the buildings that currently house the Facility Services Department.

The funds will also pay for a new replacement building, which will be located on the north side of the Main Campus.

JJC Breaks Ground on Campus Center

The college held its second groundbreaking ceremony of the year for the new Campus Center on Aug. 25 on the Main Campus south of the existing greenhouse.

The building, which will be LEED-certified with green roofs, will provide one-stop access to all student services, additional parking and access to natural areas. It is expected to be completed in July 2011. Click here to view photos from the event.

Summer 2009 Parking Projects at Main Campus Complete

Work on the second phase of the summer 2009 parking projects is complete and all parking lots are open for the beginning of the fall 2009 semester. A total of 326 new parking spaces were added to the Main Campus as part of the project, bringing the number of spaces to 3,494. Click here for complete details.

Campus Center Stairwell Completed

A stairwell for the new Campus Center has been built in the area between A- and C-Buildings near the Early Childhood Center. This work, along with utilities and other underground work ongoing, needed to be completed before construction on the Campus Center gets underway later this year.

Update on the Summer 2009 Parking Projects at Main Campus

Phase One of the summer 2009 parking projects is expected to be completed on Friday, July 3. North Lot 2 and South Lot 1 will reopen on Monday, July 6.

Phase Two of the summer 2009 parking projects will begin on Monday, July 6. This phase will involve the reconfiguration of East Lots 2 and 3, which will be closed from July 6-Aug. 21 and will reopen on August 24. Click here for complete details.

Summer 2009 Parking Projects Update

Phase One of the summer 2009 parking projects is expected to be completed on Friday, July 3. North Lot 2, which is the student lot north of J-Building, and South Lot 1, which is the student lot south of the C- and D-Buildings, will reopen on Monday, July 6. The first two rows of North Lot 1, the faculty/staff lot north of J-Building, will not be open until Tuesday, July 7, due to restriping of spaces.

Phase Two
Phase Two of the summer 2009 parking projects will begin on Monday, July 6. This phase will involve the reconfiguration of East Lots 2 and 3, which are east of the T-Building. Both lots will be closed from July 6-Aug. 21 and will reopen on August 24.

Parking for Persons with Disabilities
Parking spaces for persons with disabilities currently located in East Lots 2 and 3 will be relocated to the front rows of East Lot 4.  

Construction Underway at

Greenhouse Site

Construction is underway at the site that will be home to Joliet Junior College's new greenhouse facility. Contractors are doing site preparation in

cluding utility locates, tree removal, and installation of silt and construction fencing.

View more construction photos »

The building, which is the first project of the college's $220 million master plan, features a multi-purpose classroom and three greenhouses (warm, cool, and cold) totaling 8,500 square feet with a passive ventilation system that reduces energy consumption.

"Yesterday, we reviewed computer technology that will be in the new greenhouses," said Dr. Jim Ethridge, department chair of agriculture and horticulture, "The college will be proud of what we will have to offer the community in this new facility."

Construction on the greenhouse facility is expected to finish in October 2009.

College Prepares for Parking Issues During Upcoming Construction Projects


In preparation for multiple construction projects over the next few years, the college's senior leadership team has approved a plan to increase the number of parking spaces on the Main Campus.

Currently, the campus has 3,168 parking spaces, which will be increased by 326 after the reconfiguration of current lots. The work will be completed in two phases during the summer when demand for parking is at its lowest.

David Agazzi, vice president of administrative services, cautions that the gain in parking will be offset in late fall 2009 when construction begins on the college's new campus center and facility services building. Parking lots located near each project will be used for staging for materials and equipment associated with the building projects.

"Though we will lose parking once major construction begins, the additional parking spots created by the parking reconfiguration project this summer will keep our overall parking numbers at or near their current levels," Agazzi added.

Phase One will be May 25-July 3 and will involve the reconfiguration of North Lot 2, which is the student lot north of J-Building, and South Lot 1, which is the lot south of the C- and D-Buildings. Both lots will be closed during this time.

Phase Two will begin July 6-August 21 and will involve the reconfiguration of East Lots 2 and 3, which are east of the T-Building. Both lots will be closed during this time.

"Parking is always a challenge during construction," Dr. Proulx said. "We will all need to be patient as we work to build a better JJC."

Legat Architects Presents Schematic Design of Facility Services Building


Right Photo: Rendering of Facility Services Building

View more rendering photos »

Legat Architects presented the schematic design of the Facility Services building to trustees at the college's April 14 board meeting. The approximately 35,017-square-foot building will centralize the college's custodial, grounds, and maintenance areas. These functions are currently housed in the temporary buildings, which will be demolished as part of the Campus Center and parking construction projects.

The building, which is projected to be completed in fall 2010, will also have a heated vehicular storage, administrative areas, and the college's shipping and receiving. The college is expected to break ground on the $7.9 million project on Sept. 29, 2009.

"This building complements the original buildings on the Main Campus, and we are pleased with its look and design. It's exciting to see progress on another Master Plan project," said Dr. Gena Proulx, JJC president.

JJC Breaks Ground for First New Facility in Master Plan


Photo from left to right: Student Trustee Deborah Dole, Trustee Dan O'Connell, President Proulx, Board Chair Bob Wunderlich, and Board Secretary Barb DeLaney participate in the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, March 31, for the new Greenhouse Facility. (Photo by Mike O'Brien)

View more photos from the event »


Despite a steady downpour, Joliet Junior College administrators and community members took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, March 31, for the college's new Greenhouse Facility on the Main Campus.

The new Greenhouse Facility, the first of many buildings to be constructed as part of the college's $220 million master plan, aspires to be one of the first greenhouses in the nation to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - New Construction (LEED-NC) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The ceremony was held at the future site of the facility, which is located at the old farmstead near the corner of Houbolt Road and the exit road of Main Campus.

"Putting shovels into the ground today is more than just a symbolic gesture of the beginning of the Greenhouse Facility project,” Dr. Gena Proulx, JJC president, said. “It is also a reaffirmation of our commitment to teaching and learning, which has been a hallmark of JJC for the past 108 years, and will continue to guide us for the next 100 years."

According to Legat Architects, the facility features three greenhouses (warm, cool, and cold) totaling 8,500 square feet with a passive ventilation system that reduces energy consumption. The 3,000 square foot horticulture building includes a multi-purpose classroom for 30 students, a head house for potting, two coolers for bulb storage, a pesticide storage room, and a shared office.

"This Greenhouse Facility will truly be an impressive building with state of the art features that include a mechanically operable roof and passive cooling system," Proulx said.

An on-site system treats and reuses greenhouse irrigation system runoff to water the outdoor garden, while rainwater is stored in four underground tanks, then pumped back into the greenhouse.

Construction on the Greenhouse Facility is expected to finish in October 2009.

Legat Architects is also designing JJC's Campus Center, Library, Facility Services Building, and classroom remodeling, which are all part of the college’s master plan.

For more information, contact Kelly Rohder at (815) 280-2915 or e-mail

Greenhouse Information


  • Mechanically ventilated operable roofs
  • Passive cooling system
  • Computer-controlled greenhouse system

Educational facility features

  • Multipurpose classroom
  • Faculty office space
  • Greenhouse support spaces

LEED features

  • Rainwater harvesting system
  • "Grey water" formal garden irrigation from onsite sanitary treatment system. All building water as it exits the building will be directed into this system and available for non-consumable on site plant irrigation.
  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures
  • Energy efficient mechanical systems and lighting
  • High recycled content building materials
  • Energy reflective roof surface (High SRI value) to reflect solar energy and reduce cooling loads
  • Compact footprint for less impact to the site
  • Use of existing site features like the parking lot to reduce materials required to construct the project

© 2012 Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431-8938
Phone: (815) 729-9020