Sept. 26, 2023 9:40p
(WGTD)---Construction has begun on a replacement building for the Kenosha County Job Center.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday in the barricaded parking lot of Sun Plaza, where several buildings have already been gutted in preparation for the $20 million-plus transformation.
The new center--to include a variety of human services-related functions--will feature a two-story atrium.
The current facility--located in a former mall off of Sheridan Rd.--is expected to be demolished to make way for a new development. Those plans have yet to be nailed down, according to S.R. Mills of Bear Development, the company that's working in conjunction with the county on the project.
Speaking at Tuesday's ceremony, Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman noted that the new human services building is located in the heart of Kenosha, where services are needed the most. "With this location, we are moving our Human Services/Job Center building over here to the heart of Kenosha, surrounded by the six most challenging neighborhoods, adjacent to the KIN neighborhood where the city is making investments as well," she said. KIN is an acronym for Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood.
Mills said the new development should be good for the neighborhood, noting that the center will bring more people to the area to support a half-dozen businesses that will remain as part of the complex.
In addition, the design of the renovated complex won't ignore the residential area to the north. Loading docks and rear entrances will be replaced with a parking lot and a new access way. "We're pleased with the positive impact we believe this will have not only on the businesses and and around Sun Plaza but up and down 52nd St, the KIN neighborhood and notably the neighborhoods to the north," Mills said. "We think this can be a catalyst...to help the neighborhood move forward."
The project is being financed in part with a $9.8 million state grant.