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ECC approves pacts to place training center in Burlington

Updated: January 21, 2013 3:52PM

ELGIN — Elgin Community College trustees unanimously approved several agreements Wednesday to purchase and build its Public Safety and Sustainability Center in Burlington.

That comes just days after the Burlington Village Board approved preliminary plans for the center, which will become home to the community college’s energy management, truck driving, and firefighter and police training programs.

And it comes as the college plans to close on the land for the center Friday, ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline set by one of the property owners, according to Sharon Konny, ECC’s vice president of business and finance.

ECC President David Sam said after the meeting Wednesday that it was “wonderful to have the opportunity to build a project of this nature.”

“The partnership with Burlington is great,” Sam said. “This is the first we’ll be able to have this kind of building. It will serve the community well.”

The Perkins family, which owns part of the property the college plans to purchase, had set that end-of-the-year deadline, Konny said. That’s because of the looming “fiscal cliff” off which the country might leap in 2013, which could affect capital gains taxes, she said.

“Their deadline became everyone’s deadline,” she said.

The project will cost about $20 million total. That includes the purchase of the land; the costs of closing, surveying, appraisals and other tests on that property; and $18 million to construct Phase One of the Public Safety and Sustainability Center, according to Konny.

Begin next spring

The college now is in the design phase of the project, which will continue, Konny said. The college plans to begin construction on the center in spring 2013, with a projected completion date for the first phase in fall 2014, according to the college.

Phase One of the project also will include a burn tower, a “tactical village” and a wind turbine, according to ECC. And the college has proposed a gun range and other academic buildings in a second phase, although no time frame for its construction has been determined yet.

Measures approved by trustees Wednesday include the purchase of the 118-acre property on Plank Road on the east side of Burlington for about $1.63 million. They also include an intergovernmental agreement revised to include that amount, as well as planned development and amended and restated annexation agreements between ECC District 509 and Burlington, which the village board there had approved Monday.

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