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Will County moves forward with planning for judicial complex

By Anastasia Tuskey

     JOLIET – At Tuesday’s meeting of the Capital Improvements Committee of the Will County Board, committee members voted unanimously to begin programmatic planning for a new judicial complex in downtown Joliet and several related capital projects.  

     “I am pleased we are taking positive steps forward with these actions on our capital plans that have been developed over the past several years,” said Denise Winfrey, chairman of the Capital Improvements Committee. “We made some key decisions this week that will enable the county to begin work on the judicial complex and continue work on improving other county facilities in downtown Joliet.”

     These decisions included authorizing Will County Executive Larry Walsh to enter into a contract with Wight and Company for programmatic design of the new judicial complex.  In addition, the county took action to move one step closer to moving Sheriff’s department functions into the First Midwest Building once the county officially acquires the property.

     “Working together with Chairwoman Winfrey and the rest of the County Board, we are making real progress that will benefit Will County residents and will aid in the revitalization of downtown Joliet,” Walsh said.  “This is a very positive day and we are continuing to proactively address the County’s capital needs.”

     Along with the approval of the programming contract for the Judicial Complex, the county also approved agreements to move the Will County Recorder of Deeds’ office and the Coroner’s office into the former Social Security Building at the corner of Scott and Cass Streets.  This relocation is expected to save the county approximately $230,000 annually in rent payments. 

     “We have a number of steps planned out that will allow the County to address our most

pressing capital needs while working our way towards construction of a new Judicial facility,”    

said Walsh.  “Once we have vacated the 121 N. Chicago building, one option the City of Joliet has discussed for this property is making it a public plaza that will bring more open space in the downtown area for farmers markets, outdoor concerts and other civic events.”

     “My committee, Executive Walsh, and his staff have been working closely with Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt and the Mayor Tom Giarrante to continue our collaborative efforts to keep things rolling,” said Winfrey.  “I would expect many more positive steps forward in the coming months ahead.”

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