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Board of Trustees news: CLC dedicates new Southlake Campus chemistry lab

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 17, 2016


The College of Lake County held a ribbon cutting March 15 at the Southlake Campus in Vernon Hills for a new chemistry lab addition. The event was held prior to the CLC Board of Trustees’ scheduled meeting held at the campus.

Members of the CLC Southlake Campus Advisory Committee attended the event to celebrate the completion of the new 2,500-square-foot addition, which will accommodate 18-20 students per class. In addition to providing a 1,300-square-foot chemistry laboratory, the expansion includes a 450-square-foot instrument laboratory, 200-square-foot preparation room and a 250-square-foot storage room. The new lab will be ready to use during Intersession, which begins May 17, and Summer Session, which begins June 6.

“With the opening of this building in 2007, the college transformed Southlake from an educational center to a full campus,” said Board Chairman Dr. William M. Griffin. “It has proven a very worthwhile investment. Over the last nine years, enrollment at Southlake has surged, almost tripling in size at the peak of growth. We have attracted a robust, traditional-aged student population in daytime classes in the Associate in Arts transfer programs. We are proud of this success, because attracting this demographic is a goal for similarly-sized campuses across the nation. We have also integrated career programs at the campus such as Certified Nursing Assistant, and Health and Wellness Promotion.”

Southlake Chemistry Lab Ribbon Cutting group photoIn addition, the college has enhanced support services and increased the number of students using them, according to Dr. Griffin by one third. “The new lab allows us to offer a full complement of chemistry courses. The addition also allows an expansion in the number of biology classes offered here. Students in ‘in-demand’ STEM fields will be able to complete even more of their requirements in south Lake County. The laboratory addition also provided economic development opportunities for the area.  Not only were construction jobs created, but the project was also completed by two local businesses, Boller Construction and Legat Architects,” he said.

Several projects in the college’s Sustainable Campus Master Plan have already been completed or are well under way, CLC President Jerry Weber said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Last fall we completed a geothermal plant and loop at the Grayslake Campus that will eventually reduce energy costs by 50 percent. In July, we will open a new Welcome and One Stop student services center at the Grayslake Campus along with a new Café, Campus Store and Student Activities office. And later this year, we will open our state-funded new science building on the Grayslake Campus. Though new facilities and campus makeovers are exciting, all of the improvements we are making really have one purpose: to give students an even better educational experience,” Dr. Weber said.

Stephen Territo, chairman of the Southlake Campus Advisory Committee, said that the event signified new possibilities for south Lake County residents. “In their quest for convenient, affordable access in a high-quality learning environment, students will have more opportunities here because of our expanded science offerings. The new lab reflects contemporary advances in laboratory design and will feature active classroom technology to enrich course delivery. Experiencing classes in this state-of-the-art lab will also better prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities as well as the workplace,” Territo said.  

Student trustee wins state award

Chairman Griffin announced that Student Trustee Yesenia Mata has won the Gigi Campbell Student Trustee Excellence Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. The award recognizes the system’s outstanding student board members. Mata, one of six finalists, is the second CLC student trustee to win the prestigious award since it began in the 1990s.

“I know all the nominees well and know how hard they all work for the state’s community college students, so I am so humbled to be chosen for this award,” Mata said.

Accountability report

Dr. Sean Hogan, CLC executive director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research (IEPR), reported on how graduation and transfer rates have improved after the college implemented several student success initiatives. “These include auto awarding degrees, improved relationships with transfer institutions and a focus on student assistance programs that are intended to usher students to a successful result,” Dr. Hogan said. “Graduation and transfer rates are key indicators of student success, and CLC’s graduation and transfer rate has increased by about six percentage points for the last three groups of first-time college students who are taking a full-time course load.”

Board policies and objectives

The trustees approved revisions to nine board policies, covering the annual reorganization meeting, officer titles and duties, board committees, attorney, auditors, chief executive officer, authority to conduct business and financial reporting dates to the board.

Contracts and grants

Board members approved a real estate lease agreement with the University Center of Lake County through March 31, 2017. The college will lease 2,100 square feet at 1200 University Center Drive in Grayslake as temporary space for the Workforce and Professional Development Institute (WPDI) for $4,375 per month with a 30-day termination provision.


Under non-biddables, the board approved an amendment to the agreement with Legat Architects of Waukegan for $162,990 in architectural services for the A and B Wing renovations. The original agreement of $3,982,000 covered various projects under the Master Plan.

Human resources

The board reappointed 72 administrative and professional personnel and 256 full-time and 38 part-time specialist employees for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins July 1.