SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (December 2, 2023) – South Suburban College leaders joined elected officials and members of the local business community on Thursday in celebration and anticipation of South Suburban College’s new Allied Health and Nursing Center.
The gathering was a press conference to formally announce a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in the amount of $13 million toward the project.
“This time next year, there will be a large hole in the ground and we’ll be on our way,” said Terry Wells, Chairman of the South Suburban College Board.
The new nursing center will be a 69,000 square-foot facility located southeast of the main college, with a sheltered connection between the two buildings. The building will have four stories and a basement, and include 22 state-of-the-art classrooms and 24 labs.
SSC Vice President Patrick Rush said ground will be broken on the new project in late summer or early fall of next year.
He also said that the construction part of the project is fully funded, thanks in large part to money from the State of Illinois.
“The college was awarded a capital development grant in the amount of $50,892,219,” said SSC President Dr. Lynette Stokes, referring to a grant from the State of Illinois. “And, an additional $13,369,308 grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.”
Additional funds were provided by local municipalities such as Calumet City, Country Club Hills, Markham, Lansing, Lynwood, Phoenix, and South Holland. Other contributors to the project include Land O’Frost Inc., UC Ingalls Memorial, Carl Buddig & Co., Delta Dental, Midwest Mechanical, Comcast, and others.
Rush said a $4 million goal toward furniture, fixtures, and equipment is ongoing, and is making good progress.
“What we’re most happy about is that this building will serve as a key economic driver, providing opportunities for education, for employment … in the Southland region,” said Stokes.
Supporters and comments
Others who spoke at Thursday’s event were representatives of UC Ingalls Memorial, Land O’Frost, and the Village of South Holland. State Senator Napoleon Harris also spoke, as well as State Representative Will Davis.
“Today is a great day, because now it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work that’s been happening over the last ten years plus. It started with me, three governors ago, with Governor Pat Quinn. Him and the late Frank Zuccarelli had a conversation about the possibilities of this project happening,” Harris said. “When I think about the Allied Health Center, I think about education. I think about hope. I think about opportunity.”
Davis echoed the sentiment, saying, “South Suburban College is doing. They’re not talking about what they’re going to do, they’re actually doing it. … We appreciate the partnerships. We appreciate those that are making contributions to South Suburban College to make it the premier and the pre-eminent institution in the Southland.”
Speakers mentioned how the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the increasing need for healthcare workers. The new facility will allow for new health programs to be added to SSC’s already diverse offerings, including s respiratory technician program and a physical therapy assistant program. Overall, the health program capacity at South Suburban College will increase by over 200%.
“The realization of this new state-of-the-art building coming to fruition is overwhelming,” Stokes said. “It’s been been a long time coming. The vision that was shared over a decade ago by the late Frank M. Zuccarelli has been finally given life.”
More information about the project can be found at ssc.edu. South Suburban College is located at 15800 South State Street in South Holland.