Looking Inside Barber Colman Campus Before Construction Begins


Just one day after approving a joint funding partnership with the City of rockford, Winnebago County leaders tour the old Barber Colman complex.  Overall, leaders were impressed with the site.  Despite years of deterioration, leaders say the bones of the structure are solid and are excited to move forward with the massive renovation project.

Rust, insulation hanging from  the ceiling and decay.  Abandoned for years, the Barber Colman complex is showing its age.  Renovating the campus of vacant buildings will cost the city of Rockford and Winnebago county more than $30 million.  $3.2 million payments from both Winnebago county and Rockford just to complete phase one to construct the technical training center for Rock Valley college. 

County board members and city leaders toured the barber colman building.  City Administrator, Todd Cagnoni says the large scale project will see obstacles, but will be doable through partnerships.

“A number of unexpected issues will come up as we go through the predesign and construction phases,” said Cagnoni. “But we feel confident with the group that we have together. being Winnebago county, city of Rockford, Rock Valley college and Rockford local development corporation.”

Cagnoni says the only concern the city has is adhering to a schedule.

“Timing.” said Cagnoni. “It’s going to be critical that we remain focused to get the project done in a timely fashion.”

Rockford Economic Development for Northern Illinois, Director Dana Northcott says they believe the expensive project will be money well spent.

“One of the beautiful things about economic development you get to see projects actually come to fruition and to be able to see the fruits of your labor,” said Northcott.  “They thought this could really be a crown jewel one of a handful in the nation.”

Construction is set to begin early 2018 and end date by fall 2019.

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