Culminating nearly two years of work, the College of Lake County Board of Trustees last night approved a new sustainable campus master plan that includes energy-saving repairs to aging infrastructure, a new science building and consolidated space for student support services on the Grayslake campus as well as a major expansion of the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan.
“The master plan provides a conceptual framework for developing our campuses,” said Board Chairman Richard Anderson. “It addresses crucial needs like making repairs to our aging heating and air conditioning system on the Grayslake campus and providing new buildings to enhance services and support future enrollment growth at both the Grayslake and Lakeshore campuses.”
New science building
Included in the plan for the Grayslake campus are a new science building, classroom technology upgrades and student-support improvements like renovation of the B and C Wings to create a student services center. A major expansion of the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan is also included.
Though online learning is an attractive option for many students, on-campus education is still the preferred option for most, and offering the facilities to support an engaging, supportive educational experience is very important, according to President Jerry Weber. The master plan, he said, includes several student-focused improvements.
“We’re one of the few colleges our size that haven’t yet consolidated their student support services in a one-stop center,” Weber said. “The master plan addresses this need and will allow us to provide a more welcoming environment for students to access services that are foundational to their success.”
Cost estimates for the master plan are still being finalized, according to David Agazzi, vice president for administrative affairs. However, the science building cost is estimated at $23.4 million and the Lakeshore expansion at $47.9 million. These two projects are designated for funding as state capital projects, which means the state will pay three-quarters of the cost and CLC one-quarter.
Earlier this year, the college obtained a AAA bond rating from Moody’s and sold $19 million in bonds to fund the college’s share of the two buildings as well as some deferred maintenance projects.
Chairman Anderson said that college reserves will play a part in funding other components of the plan, but a full financing plan will be deferred until there is greater certainty about how pension reform will affect the college.
The Illinois Community College Board requires that community colleges update their master plans every five years.
Submitted by the College of Lake County