Glen Ellyn Village Board Approval Latest Step Toward COD Using Civic Center Location for Innovation DuPage
By Brian Kleemann
With the Glen Ellyn Village Board voting Nov. 13 to approve a license agreement with College of DuPage for use of a portion of the Glen Ellyn Civic Center, College officials are looking ahead toward a home for Innovation DuPage.
Innovation DuPage is a new business incubator and accelerator developed by College of DuPage that will connect small businesses with the necessary resources to thrive and stimulate job growth. Village and College officials have worked closely together for almost a year to determine if the Civic Center space would be a good fit for the new initiative.
“We want to thank the Village of Glen Ellyn for its vote and we are pleased to move ahead with our plans,” said College of DuPage President Dr. Ann Rondeau. “We look forward to working with the Village on a project that we believe will provide an economic boost for local and regional economies.”
The proposed design concept includes housing the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship in the Village’s current Planning and Development Department space as well as part of the third floor of the Civic Center. Innovation DuPage would encompass the back of the vacant Police Department space and rear garage.
In developing Innovation DuPage, College of DuPage worked closely with partners Choose DuPage, Rev3, Benedictine University, Elmhurst College and the Village of Glen Ellyn.
“We are very excited to welcome College of DuPage and Innovation DuPage into the Village’s Civic Center,” said Glen Ellyn Village President Diane McGinley. “Not only does this initiative further enhance our Village’s economic development, it also strengthens our commitment and continued partnership with COD.”
In July 2017, the Village and the College entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the agreement that the College would reimburse the Village for preliminary architectural costs up to $24,000 in determining whether 8,200 square feet of space in the Civic Center could be renovated. On Oct. 25, the Board of Directors of Choose DuPage approved a resolution to partner with both the College and the Village to establish Innovation DuPage. The College’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 26 voted to approve registering Innovation DuPage as a nonprofit corporation.
The College is estimating to spend $1.5 to $1.8 million in renovations to the Civic Center, combined with the Village’s estimate of $1.2 to $1.5 million for additional renovation costs. Both entities are working together with the design team to maintain the Civic Center’s historic character and retain shared community space for residents and community organizations while creating a dynamic co-working space modeled after 1871 in Chicago. Renovations are anticipated to begin in 2018, with Innovation DuPage opening in the Civic Center the same year.
Joe Cassidy, Dean of Continuing Education/Extended Learning, said Innovation DuPage will demonstrate the region’s serious approach toward developing entrepreneurs.
“Innovative companies like Amazon are looking for tangible advantages that differentiate one region from another,” he said. “The public/private collaboration that is Innovation DuPage signals to new and current employers that this region is aligned with their future. The unanimous resolutions from Choose DuPage and College of DuPage and the positive vote by the Glen Ellyn Board of Trustees affirm the DuPage advantage.”
For more information about Innovation DuPage, visit innovationdupage.org.
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