New Peoria Health and Human Services campus will include a 'community kitchen'
The new Peoria Health and Human Services campus will host four different county departments under one roof.
The $22.3 million project is moving forward after a county board vote last month.
In addition to modernizing the facilities of the health department and coroner's office, the new campus will also play host to new features, like a community kitchen.
"A lot of times, we get asked to help businesses grow and incubate ideas. And getting a brick and mortar that is licensed and fully staffed and correct is really difficult. So this community kitchen allows for entities to kind of start the process," said Monica Hendrickson, the administrator for the Peoria City/County Health Department.
She said budding entrepreneurs can learn skills from the health department that will regulate food safety at their businesses as they grow and transition into physical spaces.
The kitchen can also be used in WIC programs to train mothers and families about preparing nutritious food, Hendrickson said.
"We can train and provide education so that food safety is always at the highest level in our community," she said.
The new HHS campus will be constructed on the current site of the health department, 2116 N. Sheridan Rd. Environmental abatement and demolition are expected to begin this month, with a potential opening date in the late summer or early fall of 2024.