Ductwork is exposed, walls are incomplete and dust and other construction debris still litter the floor inside Universal Technical Institute's future home in Lisle.
But it's the promise of what the unfinished 185,000-square-foot structure will become that had Lisle officials excited Monday as they toured the site along Warrenville Road.
"To go from having something that was lying dormant and decaying to something that's going to be thriving is very impressive," Lisle Trustee Cathy Cawiezel said during the sneak peek of the building.
Construction of the facility started after a long-vacant corporate training center was torn down at 2611 Corporate West Drive. Once the new building is complete, it will replace UTI's existing Midwest campus in Glendale Heights.
Campus President Julie Mueller said classes are scheduled to begin in November at the roughly 20-acre Lisle site.
"We're trying to plan the move over a weekend," Mueller said. "We want minimal disruption to the student learning experience."
UTI provides training in the areas of automotive, diesel and industrial technology at 11 campuses around the country. Since the Glendale Heights site opened in 1988, the campus has expanded to include multiple buildings.
Mueller said the most significant benefit of the future Lisle facility is that it will put all the students and staff members under one roof. "It's going to be able to improve the student experience and the staff experience as well," she said.
The two-story building will have enough classrooms and laboratory space to educate up to 1,500 students.
"UTI is a good, credible school," Mayor Joe Broda said. "It's going to be a great place for students to learn."
Broda said the school also will be an asset to the village.
While the project will receive up to $6.6 million in tax-increment financing, it's expected to generate about $50 million in direct and indirect annual economic benefits to Lisle and the region, officials have said.
The new campus will draw students from across the Midwest. Nearly half of them will come from 100 miles away or more and need to find housing in the area.
As a result, most of those students will eat, shop and live in Lisle, said Richard Brink, general manager of the Hilton Lisle/Naperville, located just west of the site.
"It's a benefit to all of the buildings in the area to have this property developed," said Brink, adding the site used to be an eyesore. "It increases the value of all of our properties not having a vacant building that needed to be torn down."