Will County and City of Joliet Begin Discussions on a Consolidated Government Campus
Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and City of Joliet Mayor Terry D’Arcy have partnered together to explore the creation a consolidated government campus for both county and city services. The unified city-county office campus would be located on the site of the vacated Old Courthouse, which is slated for demolition in Fall of 2023.
“The potential for both of our governments to share a single space would be transformational for Joliet and Will County,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “These conversations are a step in the right direction to prepare us for the future. Our region is continuing to grow, and we need to work together to ensure that county and city services are prepared for continued population increases.”
Discussions about a consolidated government campus began as part of the Will County Board’s decision-making process to demolish the Old Courthouse in 2019. The Will County Executive Office prepared a space needs assessment that determined that county government would outgrow its existing office space and that the Old Courthouse property would comfortably accommodate a unified government campus.
“Joliet is proud to be the County Seat for Will County,” said Mayor D’Arcy. “Having both of our services in a unified campus, at the entrance of downtown Joliet, will promote visibility of local government and ensure that residents get the modern services they deserve.”
Several renderings have been prepared of how a consolidated government campus could utilize the property located at 14 West Jefferson Street. The renderings also included potential street-edge retail space to add to the continued revitalization efforts of downtown Joliet.
“I look forward to continued conversations between county and city officials about the great potential of this property,” added Bertino-Tarrant. “Both of our governments have clearly outgrown our existing space. Maintaining an open dialogue will ensure that we identify the best option for our residents.”
Will County non-judicial offices are currently located at the County Executive Office Building (COB) located at 302 North Chicago Street, along with leased space throughout Joliet. The COB was built in 1947 and became Will County’s primary government building in the 1980s, when the county-wide population was around 300,000. Will County now has nearly 700,000 residents and is projected to continue to grow.
Joliet’s City Hall, located at 150 West Jefferson Street, was built in 1968 when the city population was approximately 75,000 people. That population has since doubled to more than 150,000 residents today and the existing space has no additional capacity for city staff. While City Hall was renovated following the relocation of the Police Department and Fire Department, the retrofitted offices have customer service centers and administrative offices inefficiently scattered throughout the building.
“This is an exciting time for the City of Joliet, with an increased prioritization of renewing our downtown spaces,” added D’Arcy. “If the County and City moved to a unified space, it could potentially free up two prime property locations to support downtown revitalization efforts. I look forward to these continued conversations.”
RENDERING 1: A rendering of a potential Consolidated Government Campus located at 14 West Jefferson Street, viewed from the Northwest Corner. Will County and the City of Joliet have started conversations about a unified city-county building at the space.
RENDERING 2: An aerial view rendering of a potential Consolidated Government Campus located at 14 West Jefferson Street. Will County and the City of Joliet have started conversations about a unified city-county building at the space.
RENDERING 3: A site plan of a potential Consolidated Government Campus located at 14 West Jefferson Street. Will County and the City of Joliet have started conversations about a unified city-county building at the space.
RENDERING 4: An “entry view” rendering of a potential Consolidated Government Campus located at 14 West Jefferson Street. The renderings included the potential for highly visible meeting room space on the ground floor to promote transparency.