Elgin Community College is well on its way to completing its $178 million master plan although students will have to tolerate construction debris for another two years.
The college on Wednesday hosted an open house and tours at its new Multipurpose Classroom Building, a brightly lit space filled with modern design elements and "smart" classrooms connected to the Internet and cutting-edge technology.
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Starting in December, the multipurpose building will host many of the programs currently at the Fountain Square campus in downtown Elgin, including adult learning, English as a Second Language and other programs aimed at reinforcing basic skills.
So far, ECC has borrowed $130 million of the $178 million voters narrowly approved in April 2009. Trustees authorized the latest $40 million bond issuance on Tuesday.
The latest series of bonds will finance continued construction of the Health Careers Center, which will centralize health-related studies in one building, and renovation work at the Student Resource Center.
Part of that work will relocate students services such as counseling, admissions, testing and tutoring in one wing of the Student Resource Center. Students will be able to access that wing through a grand entrance that will serve as the college's gateway.
"All the services they need will be in one hallway," said Robin Arnold, a member of ECC's steering committee for the construction projects. "The have more needs now. It just made sense to centralize all the services they need."
The Health Careers Center and a new Academic Library were originally set to be finished by summer 2012, but because of better-than-expected weather, the projects are set to be done by December 2011 seven months ahead of schedule.
The Student Resource Center renovation, which includes new study lounges and a much-expanded Jobe Student Lounge, is expected to be finished by fall 2012.