Rock Valley College abandons plan to move tech center into Barber-Colman facility

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rock Valley College announced plans Friday morning to abandon plans to build its new technology center in the former Barber-Colman building, even after Rockford approved the $32.3 million project.

The facility will instead be constructed inside the Rockford Register Star tower, at 99 E State Street.

The College says they’ve leased 100,000 square feet from Gatehouse Media to develop the Advanced Technology Center.

“Combining the ATC with the courses and programs the College already offers at RVC Downtown will provide a seamless pathway for students to transition from Adult Education programs to core general education courses and then on to the technical education offered at the ATC,” said RVC President Dr. Doug Jensen.

The Barber-Colman village is a series of crumbling buildings located on the 1200 block of Rock Street, near S. Main Street, downtown.

The plan was to convert a couple of buildings on the Colman campus into the Rock Valley College Advanced Technology Training Center.  The city has already spent more than $17,000 on getting plans together for the project. 

In September, 2018, city leaders approved an agreement to renovate the Barber-Colman property, at an estimated cost of $32.3 million.

Winnebago County pledged to match the city’s $3.2 million commitment and Rock Valley College was to contribute $9.2 million.

In addition, the project received a $1.2 million grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and a $2.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

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