Work staring soon on CLC's long-awaited $48 million Waukegan campus upgrade

  • The College of Lake County's long-awaited $48 million project to improve its Waukegan campus will begin soon, officials said.

    The College of Lake County's long-awaited $48 million project to improve its Waukegan campus will begin soon, officials said. Courtesy College of Lake County

Updated 9/17/2020 2:40 PM

After years of planning, work soon will begin on the College of Lake County's $48 million plan to build a new six-story building and renovate existing buildings at its Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan.

The project's goal is to enhance opportunities for students in Waukegan and create more of a campus feel for Lakeshore, which is now made up almost entirely of buildings the college purchased and renovated.


A new Student Center building at 34 N. Sheridan Road will include 62,692 square feet of new construction to house support services, a library, community meeting space, laboratories and career placement.

Like the college's main campus in Grayslake, it also will have a "Welcome and One-Stop Center" where all major student services will be consolidated. Additionally, school officials intend for the new student center building to achieve LEED Platinum certification for environmental building design.

The project also includes the renovation of 4,665 square feet of existing building spaces at the Children's Learning Center and the science laboratory at 33 N. Genesee St., and a classroom in the building at 111 N. Genesee St.

"This substantial development provides comprehensive student support services and programs in Waukegan designed to meet the regional high-demand advanced workforce needs," CLC board Chair William M. Griffin said of the project.

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Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham said the city and college are working to identify the needs of residents and provide the services necessary to help them succeed in their education or professional development.

Anne O'Connell, CLC's director of public relations and marketing, said the school expects to receive authorization to proceed from the state -- which is funding about $34 million of the cost -- soon. When work begins, contractors will have two years to finish.

That means the project will be completed about nine years after it first was announced by former Gov. Patrick Quinn in 2013.

The project went on the shelf in June 2015 because of the state's financial turmoil. After the project began again, Legat Architects, the firm CLC contracted in 2013 to design the project, presented design options to the CLC board in 2017. The board opted for the most traditional option.

In 2018, the funding agreement between the board and the state was worked out and Legat went to work preparing construction documents.

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