Officials from the City of Rockford, Rock Valley College, and the Rockford Local Development Corporation have announced plans to redevelop the Barber-Colman Complex in the city's southwest.
The city purchased the industrial property in 2002, and plans to rename it Colman Village. The centerpiece of the complex will be the Rock Valley Technical Education and Training Center. It will house training programs in various manufacturing fields, as well as skills such as welding and hydraulics.
This movement of programs is part of a greater realignment by the college, which aims to reduce their overall operating costs. Furthermore, the college's cold forming manufacturing programs have machines too large to fit in their current location.
Overall, the city hopes to transform the 22-acre site into a mixed use development focusing on STEM careers, urban agriculture, affordable loft space, and offices for business incubation. The first phase of the development is expected to cost approximately $32 million, with Rock Valley College being the anchor tenant for four redeveloped buildings.