COD commits $30 million to new classroom building

College of DuPage trustees have committed $30 million to build a Teaching and Learning Center to provide more classroom space for students on the Glen Ellyn campus.

College officials said they also hope to receive an additional $20 million from the state for the project. If that money does not materialize, however, the college will most likely proceed with a scaled-down version of the project, according to Joseph Moore, vice president of marketing and communications.

Educational specifics have not been determined, but if the college obtains the $20 million from the state, the building could be as large as 75,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet, officials said.

Preliminary plans call for the center to house several 35-seat general purpose classrooms, a smaller number of 25-seat general purpose classrooms, two 50-seat general science classrooms, four 25-seat computer classrooms and a computer lab.

In addition, the building likely will include administrative space, office space for faculty, a student commons area, a multipurpose room and unfinished space for future development, according to COD documents.

COD is exceeding 90 percent capacity during peak hours, and officials said more classrooms are needed to handle projected enrollment growth.

"I think we're about teaching and learning, and this is directly supporting the faculty and the students that come here," Trustee Nancy Svoboda said at a recent board meeting.

Vice Chairman Kathy Hamilton was the only board member to vote against committing money for the project, citing a lack of details.

"When you make a decision, you have an understanding of the factors that are influencing your decision," Hamilton said in an interview. " ... But there was no analysis, no quantification, no saying 'I think we're going to have 2,000 students in the next five years under these programs, and that means we need so many seats in the building.' There was no analysis to that level."

At the board meeting, Hamilton said she also wants to know how adding the building would affect enrollment.

"You can't say, 'Space is good; let's buy it.' You have to know how many more students it's going to accommodate," Hamilton said.

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