Just in time for the start of second-semester classes, College of Lake County finished moving into a completely remodeled C Wing, which marked the final phase of Mortenson Construction's multiyear, $50 million renovation and expansion project at the school's main Grayslake campus.

Starting in 2015, Mortenson, a national contractor with local operations in Elk Grove Village, demolished and rebuilt 190,000 square feet and added 30,000 square feet to the community college's primary two buildings. The goal of the project was to enhance student experience, improve accessibility and upgrade fire, life safety and mechanical systems.

"In partnership with CLC, Mortenson has transformed these physical spaces to improve learning and encourage collaboration among students, faculty and staff," said Mike Welch, CLC facilities director. "Upgrading our systems and infrastructure also has made our operations dramatically more energy-efficient."

Based on the masterplan by Legat Architects, Mortenson relocated the basement cafeteria to a new addition overlooking Willow Lake. The builder created a welcome center in the new lobby and located lounging areas for studying and socializing on each floor of the two-story buildings. The basement bookstore and consolidated student services, including registration, financial aid and job and career placement services, were moved to a central first-floor location.

The remodel included faculty, executive and administrative offices, conference rooms and a board room housed in the two buildings. Mortenson upgraded academic learning areas, eliminating a large lecture hall and supplementing full classrooms with micro-classrooms for small group work. It installed high-efficiency lighting and temperature controls in each room, added new finishes and built a fiber-optic backbone with upgraded cabling to support the latest classroom technology.

In partnership with CLC and Cotter Consulting, Mortenson developed a construction plan to complete the work over four phases. This approach accommodated the ongoing class schedule and minimized disruption to College of Lake County students, faculty and staff.

The project included the installation of cost effective, energy-efficient building systems. Mortenson installed an integrated HVAC system, supported by on-site geothermal wells and 22 new rooftop cooling and heating units. The builder also added a new roof and sprinkler system.

"College of Lake County has a made major investment in its facilities to ensure a first-class environment for its students, faculty and staff," said Sheryl Van Anne, the Mortenson construction executive leading the project. "We are delighted to have had such large part in bringing the master plan to life and transforming the campus."