Back in August, Kane County officials heard an impassioned plea from Dr. Alexandra Tsang about the conditions that the Kane County Diagnostics Center staff and clients have had to deal with in the last active building on the former Kane County Sheriff’s Office site on Fabyan Parkway.
Among her concerns were flooding, chronic heat and ventilation issues, yellow water running through pipes in the kitchen and bathrooms, carbon monoxide poisoning, vehicle access and staff-safety concerns because the building is isolated from other departments and has no security force.
The diagnostics center is the forensic psychology department for the 16th Judicial Circuit and conducts evaluations, crisis intervention and individual group and family psychotherapy for juvenile and adult offenders.
The Kane County Board listened to Tsang’s concerns, and on Tuesday, the Kane County Committee of the Whole heard a facilities plan to move the Diagnostics Center to the Kane County Branch Court facility at 540 S. Randall Road.
Kane County Operations Staff Executive Don Biggs reported Tuesday that the whole project, including renovating the Branch Court offices and the cost of making the move, could be done for less than $1.2 million.
The new facility would include space for three interns, which are an integral part of the Diagnostics Center Services. The interns each receive stipends that add up to about $49,500 a year but return $970,775 in services, according to a report presented Tuesday.
Kane County 16th Circuit Chief Judge Judith Brawka spoke briefly in support of the plan, which would use of the Circuit Clerk’s storage space to create the new offices for the Diagnostics Center. Brawka said the plan would be a win-win because the facility will be an efficient and safe location for the center, utilizing the existing security staff at the branch court and because Biggs was able to adapt other space to accommodate both the Circuit Clerk and the County Clerk’s Office, which uses part of the building for voting.
“It’s a great example of how government can work together,” Brawka said.
County Board member Barb Wojnicki said the facility would be an excellent location for the Diagnostics Center, which will be able to seek American Psychological Association accreditation once it moves in. The accreditation, in turn, will go a long way to ensuring the continued success of the internship program.
“I am just so happy this is moving forward,” she said. “I think it’s a great plan, and you’ve done a great job with the design.”