Construction is halfway complete on CLC's $48 million Waukegan project
Workers have passed the halfway point of construction on the new six-story building at College of Lake County's Waukegan campus.
The exterior of the new 62,692-square-foot building is nearly complete, and it has been made weather-tight so interior work can continue through the winter, said Mike Welch, CLC's director of facilities.
Welch said the work is on time and on budget.
The building is part of a $48 million project that includes the renovation of other structures at the Waukegan campus.
If construction continues as planned, the building at 34 N. Sheridan Road will be ready for students for the spring semester of 2023. Once finished, it will house support services, a library, a welcome center and a career placement office.
Jesus Ruiz, dean of CLC's Waukegan campus, said he hopes the building will attract new students and the community.
"I've been in Waukegan more than 30 years, and no project has made me more excited," Ruiz said.
Ruiz said the site also will host adult education classes aimed at connecting nontraditional students to new careers, such as phlebotomy and nursing.
He said one of the best features will be the library, which will have views of the lake.
The state is funding $35.3 million of the project through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, with the remainder covered by local matching funds.
The project's goal is to create more of a collegiate feel at the Waukegan campus, which is almost entirely made up of buildings the college purchased and renovated in the city's downtown.
The project has been in the works for nearly a decade. In 2013, former Gov. Patrick Quinn announced the project and CLC contracted Waukegan-based Legat Architects to design it. The plan was shelved in June 2015 because of the state's financial turmoil.
In spring 2018, the project seemed to be back on track, and Legat planned to have updated construction documents ready by July 2019. But other factors and the pandemic created further delays.
Construction work on the building finally began last February.