Funding for the New Facility Made Possible by Governor Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan
GLEN ELLYN – The Illinois Capital Development Board today announced $18 million has been released for the replacement of the Phillip J. Rock Center and School. CDB will oversee the project's design and construction in accordance with the protocol for state-appropriated projects.
Governor Pritzker's bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the first in nearly a decade, will support this $18 million investment. The project provides for construction of a 9,200 square foot building and the demolition of the existing building, which was constructed in the 1960s. The new facility will provide more efficient, functional and upgraded space for residential rooms, offices, learning and recreational areas. The Philip J. Rock Center and School, located in Glen Ellyn, offers one of the most intensive, comprehensive educational programs available for children and individuals who are deaf-blind. It is operated by the Illinois State Board of Education, with dormitories that house students for extended stay, as well as classrooms, after school activity rooms and a full array of support functions that complement the residents' academic and residential services.
"My administration is committed to providing all Illinois children with the tools and resources they need to achieve their goals," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Thanks to this $18 million in funding from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, deaf-blind children at the Phillip J. Rock Center and School will have access to state of the art-facilities and other necessary resources as they continue their education."
"I am thankful to the State of Illinois for funding the new Phillip J. Rock Center and School," said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood. "The Rebuild Illinois capital plan is essential to upgrading and improving facilities throughout the state."
"The Philip J. Rock Center and School (PRC) has been serving deaf-blind children since its opening in 1978; instrumental to our founding was then-Illinois Senate President Philip J. Rock," said PRC Executive Director Bonnie Jordan. "He would be proud to see our State continue to support those who need it most. This new building will allow for sensory-appropriate activity rooms, upgraded living quarters and newer facilities created with deaf-blindness in mind—among so much more."
"The late Illinois Senate President Philip J. Rock had over 450 pieces of legislation passed into law during his tenure in the Illinois Senate. When asked what legislation of which he was most proud, he always responded without hesitation that it was the creation of the Philip J. Rock Center and School Sen. Rock's wife, Sheila, and the entire Rock Family are forever grateful for the efforts of many, especially Bonnie Jordan, that this legacy will continue into the future with a new, state-of-the art facility that will allow for better instruction and care for students who are deaf-blind," said the Rock Family.
"ISBE is deeply grateful to Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly for this funding to give our deaf-blind students the state-of-the-art facility they deserve," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. "We are proud to oversee the Philip J. Rock Center and be a part of their incredible work to equitably serve this special group of students."
"This announcement of construction at the Philip J Rock Center and School is a tremendous project for the state to undertake. This institution has been a lifeline to the students and families living with both visual and hearing impairment, and an entirely new facility will allow the faculty to provide even better care and education to these courageous students," said State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D – Western Springs).
"For more than 40 years, the Philip J. Rock Center and School has provided inclusive education and care to children with significant auditory and visual impairments, and it has offered extensive training to parents and teachers throughout Illinois," said State Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn. "I am very proud that the State of Illinois is making this important investment in our community, and I know this state-of-the-art facility will create new opportunities for generations of young people to lead more independent and productive adult lives."
The historic Rebuild Illinois capital plan passed with bipartisan super-majorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers, and state facilities like the new crime lab and veterans' homes, creating and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the six-year plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.
04.20.21 CDB Phillip J. Rock Center.pdf