The concept of a community building for Belvidere was first introduced at a meeting of the Belvidere Rotary Club on October 5, 1927. Funding for the project was accomplished through the passage of a Public Works Administration grant of $56,250 and a Belvidere bond issue for an additional $65,000. Rockford architect Raymond A Orput designed the monolithic (poured concrete) structure and construction was completed by Hokanson & Bloom of Rockford, Illinois. Grand opening ceremonies were held on Thursday, October 12, 1939. As property of the School District, it fulfilled its intended purposes as a multi-use facility for many years until abandoned by the School District in 1989. Title of the building was transferred to the city of Belvidere on February 4, 1991. The Community Building Complex Committee of Boone County was authorized through state legislation on September 3, 1991 to maintain, operate and enhance the property. It was designated as a historic landmark on July 28, 1993. The Community Building was officially rededicated on May 3, 1996 and continues to serve its original purpose, a building that serves the community.
The Community Building Complex of Boone County was created by Public Act 87-230 of the 87th General Assembly of the State of Illinois. The by-laws of the organization were formally adopted at the regular meeting of the Committee held in August 1992. The organization is exempt from federal tax under Section 501-C (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
On November 28, 1994, the Committee purchased a building, known as the “Community Building”, from the City of Belvidere for the sum of one-dollar. The building was awarded historic landmark status on July 28, 1993. The immediate objective was to renovate the building. These renovations were completed in 1999.
The organization, until the spring of 1996, relied solely on contributions and fund raising activities (bake sales, etc) as the major source of revenue. At this time, the City Council of the City of Belvidere (on 2/6/95) and the County board of Boone County (on 2/8/95) jointly imposed a 1% tax on the retail sale of food and beverages that are prepared for immediate consumption. The food and beverage tax shall be used solely for the support, construction, and maintenance or financing of a facility of the Committee. The authority to impose a tax terminates 10 years after the effective date of the ordinance authorizing the tax unless (i) a continuation of the tax is approved by the voters of Boone County by referendum conducted in accordance with the general election law or (ii) there are outstanding bonds of the Committee.
Throughout the years the Community Building of Boone County has been updated with heating and air systems, is fully accessible for the handicapped with an elevator has been added for access to both the upper and lower-level as well as to the stage area, and a complete catering kitchen conveniently located adjacent to the upper and lower level banquet room. Late in 2007 the upper level underwent a renovation to add a loading dock and a side vestibule as well as to enhance the side entrance with terrazzo flooring. Shortly after that the main roof was replaced due to an abundance of leaks and insulation was added to assist in energy costs. In Dec. 2009 the upper-level gymnasium (now called the Auditorium) underwent a major renovation project to include a new ceiling, walls, floor and a sprinkler system on the stage (required by the State Fire Marshall). This modern update has proved to be beneficial as the booking calendar remains crowded since this renovation. The whole building is handicapped accessible and complies with the ADA standards. The building certainly serves all patrons to the fullest capacity. In 2017-18 the upper-level bathrooms were completely renovated, the entire building had a fire protection system added, an additional meeting room added in the lower level as well as the catering kitchen added adjacent to the upper-level banquet room. This project has taken the building to the next level and has not only added am important safety measure with the sprinklers but added convenience for caterers and all groups using the building with the additional kitchen.
As the use of the building continues to grow, the Committee continues to provide improvements that better the building for all users and the community as a whole.
The organization, which consists of 11 board members and one full-time Director, operates under the committee system and presently has the building and grounds committee, finance committee and rules and regulations committee as functioning committees.