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College receives Illinois gold sustainability award

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 03, 2014

Solar panel installationThe College of Lake County has received a gold Campus Sustainability Compact Award from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a unit of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award, presented by the office of Gov. Quinn on Oct. 23, recognizes the college for its efforts to integrate environmental sustainability throughout its campuses and for working toward measurable sustainability improvements.

A major accomplishment recognized by the award is CLC’s Sustainable Campus Master Plan, which includes such sustainability features as an energy-saving geothermal loop circling the Grayslake campus, solar panels and construction of LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council.   

The Sustainable Campus Master Plan will be constructed over about five years. Construction of the geothermal loop and science building are scheduled to begin in Spring 2015. Green features of the building, which will seek LEED platinum (highest) certification, will include a rooftop photovoltaic array, rainwater harvesting and LED lighting. When fully operational, the geothermal loop is expected to reduce the college’s energy expenses 20 percent by 2018, according to David Husemoller, CLC sustainability manager.

In addition to the Master Plan, the college has developed a Sustainability Plan that includes goals for promoting environmental sustainability on campus, in the curriculum and in the community. Accomplishments so far have included recycling education campaigns and the replacement of many fluorescent lights with LED lighting. The long-term goal of the Sustainability Plan, Husemoller added, is for the college to achieve carbon neutrality.  

Husemoller, along with CLC President Jerry Weber, accepted the award on behalf of the college at a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. In addition to CLC, six other Illinois colleges and universities were recognized for meeting environmental goals at their campuses. The Campus Sustainability Compact encourages public and private colleges and universities to incorporate sustainability into their campus operations, academic and research programs, student activities and community outreach.

“Investing in sustainability creates jobs, boosts our economy and is an investment in our future,” Governor Quinn said. “These awards foster innovation and encourage our universities and businesses to help us build a stronger, greener Illinois.”

“The linkage between sustainable policies and success in our businesses, our organizations and our communities has never been stronger,” said ISTC Director Kevin O’Brien.  “We are proud to call attention to these champions of sustainability who help lead the way by improving our quality of life through their responsible stewardship of people, profit and our planet.”

Latest improvement: five new solar panels

CLC’s most recent sustainability improvement is the addition of five solar panels, which were installed during the week of Oct. 20 at the Grayslake campus. The panels are located on the roofs of the D wing, Building E, Technology Building, library and the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts. The panels add an additional 390 square feet of solar collectors, supplementing solar panels installed in 2011 on the roofs of the Physical Education Center and C Wing. The solar panels are being used to help heat water used in campus restrooms, Husemoller explained.