Renovations planned for Technology Building
Posted On: 02/10/21
Renovations to the Technology Building at Kankakee Community College are moving forward after funding has been secured by state legislators and a local employer.
State Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) secured $1,250,000 and former State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) secured $500,000 which will be used to renovate some of the Technology Building classrooms on the KCC Riverfront Campus.
“Colleges and universities, like Kankakee Community College, not only provide students with a top-notch education, but also contribute to economic development in our communities,” Joyce said. “Despite all the challenges we have faced this year, this funding shows the state’s commitment to accelerating higher education in Kankakee.”
“Kankakee Community College is a vital part of our local economy and workforce development," Parkhurst said. "KCC was number one on my list to receive state funds to improve outdated infrastructure and assist KCC in its aim of providing all-aged learners the education and tools they need to enrich and improve their lives and careers. Thank you to KCC for always putting community first!”
The funds will be used to begin Phase 1 of the two-phase project. In total, the work will expand and modernize instruction areas, upgrade equipment, and renovate student training and workspaces.
Phase 1 includes renovating lab space that will enhance the Electrical Engineering Technology program. The total project will benefit all of KCC’s Technology Division programs: Electrical Engineering Technology; Computer Graphic Technology; Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice; and Automotive Technology.
“Training qualified workers is our mission, and these programs are a big part of it,” said KCC’s president, Michael Boyd. “Strengthening our programs now helps our residents find family-sustaining jobs in the future. KCC looks forward to training the next generation of technology workers with the help of new teaching and learning spaces. We certainly appreciate the support from the state in making it possible.”
Nucor Steel of Kankakee has also pledged $250,000 over five years toward helping students through this project.
“We are proud to partner with KCC with this investment to better serve the needs of our community," said J.T. Thomas, maintenance manager for Nucor. "We view this as a joint effort to ensure students continue to find top-notch facilities paired with strong instruction and career training. We also appreciate that KCC is investing in resources to attract a more diverse student body with unique talents. We are proud to make a difference for students who are forging bright futures for themselves, and we are honored to be difference-makers in this community where we live and serve.”
The Technology Building upgrades follow two other programs which were modernized and moved within the last year. KCC’s Early Childhood Education programs and transfer-level Education programs entered a new space in August. Also, in August, the Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration program began offering classes at the KCC Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center, 2580 S. Route 45/52 in Kankakee.
This phase of KCC’s technology renovations is budgeted at $1.75 million dollars and will begin in February 2021. It is expected to be completed by June, with the first classes in the newly renovated spaces in Fall 2021.
“KCC’s board of trustees are committed to workforce training, and to our area residents,” said Pat Martin, chair of KCC's board of trustees. “With bipartisan and business/industry support, we are able to close the funding gap so that residents have access to modern training facilities.”
“It’s essential that KCC is there for community members while they rebuild after the pandemic,” said Boyd. “Because of the board’s commitment, KCC can drive regional economic recovery, and get people ready to take high-demand skills to the local workforce.
“The update to the Technology hallway at KCC will allow expansion and upgrading of current programming that has been needed for some time,” said Paul Carlson, KCC’s dean of Business, Technology and Human Services programs. “This most current renovation is a credit to the program faculty, as well as senior leadership at KCC supporting the changing needs of the students within these programs.”