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Community, dignitaries celebrate Science & Engineering Building

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Sep 27, 2018

The College of Lake County’s new Science & Engineering Building, which opened for classes in January, received acclaim from community members as well as business and government leaders at an open house Sept. 26 on the Grayslake Campus.

The event, whose attendees included several state senators and representatives as well as Lake County board members, featured tours of the $28.3 million building’s environmentally friendly features. They include rooftop solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, LED lighting, a green roof as well as rainwater harvesting used in flushing toilets, all of which are part of the building’s goal of pending LEED Platinum certification. The tour also included the building’s state-of-the-art labs for chemistry, mechatronics and laser/photonics/optics.

Richard A. Anderson, chair of CLC’s Board of Trustees, said the building’s design supports the latest in science and technology education while advancing the college’s sustainability goals to save on energy use. “This building and our other current and future campus improvements were initiated for one purpose: to give students an even better educational experience,” he said. “Thank you all for supporting us in that effort.”

CLC President Lori Suddick, Photo of mechatronics lab in  Science and Engineering BuildingEd.D., said, “Although I came to CLC just this past May, I can fully appreciate the collective work it took to make this building a reality. I was pleased to learn that the state and CLC showed a true investment in the future educational and workforce needs of our students and communities through the design and construction of this exciting, state-of-the-art building. Providing educational opportunities in these high-demand STEM fields directly addresses the workforce needs of Illinois’ modern industries.”

Photo: Margie Porter, a College of Lake County mechanical engineering professor and chair of the mechatronics department, demonstrates features of the mechatronics lab inside CLC’s new Science & Engineering Building, which opened in January on the Grayslake Campus.

Of the building’s many features, the new chemistry lab has received high marks from students and faculty. “We are excited about the larger space, which allows us to teach more students and offer more courses,” said Beth Wilson, chemistry department chair. “And the natural light in all the labs is a mood enhancer.”

Jess Marvin, an education major from Mundelein, concurs. “Having natural sunlight coming in to the lab puts me in a calmer state of mind for quizzes and tests,” said Marvin, who is planning a career as a college earth science professor. “The Science & Engineering Building is amazing in that it is spacious and has the latest equipment. I give it an A+ rating.”

A larger mechatronics lab (a field that combines mechanics, electronics and control technologies) includes new equipment such as an automation cell used in teaching students systems operation and troubleshooting. The lab also includes Baxter, a humanoid robot, as well as a Fanuc robotic arm. “Our program emphasizes broad, hands-on, systems-level knowledge and troubleshooting,” said Margie Porter, mechanical engineering professor and mechatronics program chair. “Our graduates are ready for the cutting-edge manufacturing workplace.”

The laser, photonics and optics lab features equipment for general laser and optical experiments as well as high-power laser operations. The career field involves installing, maintaining and troubleshooting lasers used in everything from manufacturing to medicine. “These systems allow us to conduct more advanced experiments, and we now have the newest lab and more CO2 laser equipment than any other program in the Midwest,” said Bill Kellerhals, program chair.

Learn more about CLC’s sustainable efforts at, and details of the college’s master plan are available at For more information on CLC’s academic and career programs in science, technology, engineering and math, visit

To access a list of Fall Semester courses that begin in October and beyond, visit

About College of Lake County


College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes,

provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.