Local, state and federal officials gathered Saturday, Oct. 29, for the grand opening of the Stanley J. Roszkowski U.S. Courthouse at 327 S. Church St., in downtown Rockford. The facility is named after Stanley J. Roszkowski, who served as a judge in the Northern District of Illinois for more than 20 years before retiring in 1998.
The 5.5-acre site is home to five courtrooms, offices for the U.S. courts and other court-related agencies, 55 secured indoor parking spaces and 20 outdoor parking spaces.
The facility took three years to construct, and cost more than $100 million. Officials said the construction of the courthouse created more than 1,000 jobs for local citizens.
Meantime, while officials celebrated the opening of the courthouse, members of the Occupy Rockford movement marched from Beattie Park to the courthouse dedication in protest of the facility.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and 17th District candidate George Gaulrapp answered questions from Occupy Rockford protesters.
“Occupy Rockford activists hope to voice their frustration with federal economic policy, failure to prosecute criminal market speculators and growing wealth disparity in America in the face of tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent,” the Occupy Rockford movement said in a press release prior to the event.
Occupy Rockford is a local effort in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement and other “occupy” movements throughout the country and the world. Visit occupyrockford.org for more details.
From the Nov. 2-8, 2011, issue