New ATEC Building Grand Opening celebration

New ATEC Building Grand Opening celebration

Posted On: 03/22/19

The community is invited to an Grand Opening celebration for the new Advanced Technology Education Center – ATEC, for short – at Kankakee Community College.

The Open House will be Wednesday, April 17, from 4-6:30 p.m. at the ATEC Building. Students and faculty will have classrooms and labs open to provide demonstrations and information. There will be brief remarks around 5:15 p.m.

Plus, a special presentation will be offered by retired KCC Professor Tim Wilhelm at 5:30 p.m.: “The Influence of Mysticism on Modern Science and Technology.”

“We are excited to provide students and the community with another top-notch training facility,” said Patrick Klette, Electrical Engineering Technology Program coordinator. “ATEC has hands-on training for each major renewable energy area we teach. We strive for real world training using real world equipment in all of our electrical classes and the ATEC building is another example of that philosophy coming to fruition. The rooftop solar panel is a highlight. It’s accessible to our classes, and functional, providing some of the energy to power the building.”

“ATEC brings together a number of our training programs under one roof,” said Clay Sterling, professor in the Electrical Engineering Technology program. “Students learn about, assemble, then immediately use the solar panels, wind turbines and other equipment. We’ve planned it out to maximize what can get done. Real-time monitoring and results are part of the program.”

ATEC houses KCC’s award-winning Electrical Engineering Technology program. The 21,000 square foot building includes classrooms, labs, offices, and support spaces to provide hands-on technical training in fields such as wind generation, solar thermal, solar photo-voltaic systems, and electrical (National Electric Code NEC) instruction. The ATEC facility also houses continuing training for technicians and electricians who are already in the profession.

ATEC was designed to meet requirements for the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold certification. A portion of the center’s electricity is channeled through KCC’s wind turbine and photovoltaic array. It also incorporates geothermal wells, low-flow fixtures and high-efficiency lighting.

If approved by the U.S. Green Building Council, ATEC would be the second LEED Gold certified building for KCC. Buildings are assigned scores by the USGBC based upon their environmentally-friendly attributes. The building council looks at the facility comprehensively, considering site issues, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials use and indoor environmental quality.

BLDD Architects of Chicago was the architect, and Piggush Simoneau, Inc. of Kankakee was the builder. The majority of construction costs were funded through a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

KCC offers an Electrical Engineering Technology associate degree with a renewable energy technology specialization, for which the college received the Interstate Renewable Energy Council Accredited Clean Energy Training Provider of the Year award in 2014. The college also has short-term certificates in Solar-Wind Technology, Solar PV Technology and Solar-Thermal Technology. Each of these short-term certificates is 21 credit hours and can be finished in one year or less.

In the photo, Glen Margewich of Stelle works on a solar panel during class on March 13 at the new Advanced Technology Education Center.