High school board agrees to throw hat in ring as Rockton, Roscoe and South Beloit officials pledge support

Hononegah High School hopes to build Rock Valley College’s new Advanced Technology Center on land west of the high school in Rockton.

According to the school district, Hononegah will submit a proposal to the college for its consideration.

Hononegah plans to partner with Ringland-Johnson Construction, the district stated Friday in a news release. Hononegah and Ringland-Johnson worked together on the Hononegah Fieldhouse, which opened in April 2019.

The site being proposed for college’s technology center is the site of the old Rockton Grade School.

According to the news release, Rockton Village President Dale Adams, Roscoe Village President Mark Szula and South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl are backing the proposal.

The Stateline Chamber of Commerce and numerous area businesses and industries also have sent letters of support, the district states.

Hononegah’s proposal recommends a 20-year lease with Rock Valley for use of the facility, which would be owned by Hononegah. Lease payments would cover the cost of construction and future maintenance.

“The proposed placement for the Advanced Technology Center on Hononegah’s campus is in alignment with the district’s strategic goal of building mutually beneficial community partnerships that ultimately improve students’ opportunities for success,” Hononegah Superintendent Michael Dugan said. “We look forward to having Rock Valley review and respond to our proposal.”

Rock Valley College leaders asked for proposals for its ATC last month. The deadline is May 6.

The college plans on spending up to $9.2 million on the center, which would house programs aimed at teaching students the latest manufacturing skills.

The college and the city of Rockford had worked on plans to build the center at Colman Village, just southwest of Rockford’s downtown, but the college pulled out of those plans last year.

Other locations that have been discussed include the Register Star News Tower, 99 E. State St., the Chicago Rockford International Airport and the Machesney Park Mall.

The college hopes to open the ATC in August 2021.

Corina Curry: ccurry@rrstar.com; @corinacurry