Governor JB Pritzker and other local and state officials cut the ribbon on the College of Lake County’s new Student Center (CLC). The Lakeshore Campus Student Center will make college life better for students by giving them better services and modern learning and study spaces.
The 63,000-square-foot building was paid for in part by an investment of $35.9 million from Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan capital plan, Rebuild Illinois, and a local match of $12 million from the institution.
“This state-of-the-art facility will support student life, with every option ranging from the testing center to the library, the adult education hub to the medical office assistant labs, nursing classrooms and a phlebotomy lab,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “By combining state and local resources, we open doors for universities and colleges to embrace growth in new ways. Thanks in part to these investments, the College of Lake County has been able to advance its Lakeshore Commitment: offering its students more classes than ever, and expanding program offerings in fields like manufacturing, hospitality, digital media, horticulture, and entrepreneurship.”
“Education touches us all, from the classroom to the community, and this new facility will enhance and expand that impact in Lake County,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Rebuild Illinois continues to provide historic investments throughout this state in a variety of areas, particularly in education where our administration is committed to broadening ways to nurture and prepare our students for the brightest future possible.”
The project added 46,000 square feet of classroom and lab space in downtown Waukegan. This was done to improve the educational experience of the students. The modern building also had 15,000 square feet of space for CLC students to use as a resource. The project also includes renovating the Children’s Learning Center and science lab on the Lakeshore Campus, which are both in the building next to the Student Center.
This will take up another 5,100 square feet. Site utilities were put in, sidewalks, roads, parking lots, and landscaping were built, and more than 10,300 square feet were redone. The building also makes it easier for CLC to work with the community because parts of it are open to the public.
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“College of Lake County looks forward to opening the doors to the Lakeshore Campus Student Center and celebrating with our community on this long-awaited project,” said CLC President Lori Suddick. “The building’s completion results from the dedication of individuals across the college and the community. With the building’s completion, the College looks forward to advancing its efforts to create the vibrant urban campus to support students and the communities of Lake County.”
The Student Center is on track to get the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its eco-friendly features. The Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) was in charge of the design and construction, as is the norm for state-funded projects.
“Our hardworking construction teams have ensured the new Student Center will support the academic needs of the College of Lake County students and we are thrilled to see the facility finally come to fruition under Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois plan,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood.
Health sciences programmes like phlebotomy technician, medical assisting, and nurse assisting, as well as adult education and English as a Second Language, are held at the Student Center (ESL). The Student Center also has a library and places to test and get help with schoolwork. The staff at the Welcome and One-Stop Center will help students with registration and financial aid and connect them with advisors or other student resource specialists.
The Eleanor Murkey Community Center is on the top floor of the new Student Center. It is a place for business meetings, special events, and college-sponsored community engagement events. The building is a unique asset to downtown Waukegan and community groups because it has a balcony that looks out over Lake Michigan. Murkey was dean of the Lakeshore Campus for a long time.
“I am thrilled at the advancements being made today in Waukegan,” said State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove). “Education plays a vital role in building a thriving community and sustaining our future’s economy. The Eleanor Murkey Community Center will serve as a resource center for many in our district while providing our students with the best learning environment as they pursue their education.”
“This beautiful new student center will expand opportunities and inspire future dreams for countless residents of northeastern Illinois,” said State Representative Joyce Mason (D-Gurnee). “I’m truly excited by the possibilities this expansion will create for generations to come in our community.”
“I am thrilled to see the State of Illinois making a significant capital investment in the College of Lake County,” said State Representative Daniel Didech (D-Buffalo Grove). “CLC is a vital institution that plays a crucial role in creating jobs and opportunities for residents throughout Lake County. This investment will help sustain and expand the mission of the college, and I am excited to see the positive impact it will have on our community.”
“No one is more excited than I am to see this long-awaited addition to the Lakeshore campus,” said State Representative Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan). “This cutting-edge facility embodies College of Lake County’s abiding commitment to student success and is sure to enhance campus life for years to come.”
“The new Student Center at the College of Lake County is a significant addition to our community and our ongoing downtown revitalization efforts,” said Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor. “The College of Lake County is a valuable asset to Waukegan and greater Lake County, providing valuable educational opportunities to students no matter their background or economic status. I thank Governor J.B. Pritzker for investing in our students and economy by providing funding toward this project through the Rebuild Illinois Program.”
“The opening of the Student Center is an exciting time for the Lakeshore Campus,” said Lakeshore Campus Dean Jesus Ruiz. “This expansion represents more than just a building – it celebrates the success of our community. The Student Center is bringing an air of unity and collaboration to us all.”
“This is a great day for the College of Lake County, the students it serves, the City of Waukegan, and the entire county as the new Lakeshore Campus Student Center opens its doors. A huge thank you to Governor Pritzker and the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, that combined with local matching funds from CLC, made this student center a reality,” said Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart.
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College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college in northeastern Illinois that works to improve the many communities it serves through high-quality education, cultural enrichment, and partnerships. College classes are affordable and easy to get to. They are offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills, and Waukegan, as well as online, to help each student reach their academic, career, and personal goals.
Since the college opened in 1969, more than 70,000 students have earned degrees and certificates. College of Lake County is a national leader in many things, such as making campuses more international, being environmentally friendly, and protecting wildlife.
Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan gives Illinois roads, state buildings, universities, bridges, and railroads the money they need to be fixed up and made better over a six-year period. The goal of the initiative is to improve important infrastructure and create economic opportunities.
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