CLC begins work on $ 89 million advanced technology center in Gurnee

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to reflect the source of the donation.

Work is underway to convert a former Lowe’s store at Rollins Road and Grand Avenue in Gurnee into the College of Lake County’s first advanced technology center, which school officials say is able to supply 40% of the skilled labor force of the county over the next five years.

The center is designed to be a place where students can earn degrees in machining, fabrication, welding, fabrication, and industrial technology. It will include training with some of the same machines used in modern manufacturing plants.

When completed, ATC is expected to double the number of students CLC can teach in areas like robotics and advanced manufacturing, according to the college.

The concept has been enthusiastically received by local industry leaders and donors.

At a construction kickoff event this afternoon, the college will accept a $ 2 million donation from Lake Forest philanthropists John and Kathleen Schreiber. The college hopes to raise around $ 5 million for the construction of Phase 1.

Among industry leaders expressing support for the project is Andrew Warrington, CEO of Waukegan-based United Conveyor Corp. He called the center the missing piece of the puzzle to create Lake County’s workforce of the future.

“Our talent pool is drying up,” Warrington said. “But ATC will allow us to rapidly expand our pool of skilled workers, and they will have a clear path to well-paying careers.”

The first phase of construction will include a welding and fabrication lab, space for the new industrial technology program, and a V-shaped entrance atrium that officials say will provide a “wow” factor while serving as a gathering space for students.

The first phase is expected to cost $ 34 million, officials said, and work is expected to be completed in July 2022.

A planned second construction phase would include learning spaces for advanced manufacturing, automation and robotics on the north side of the first floor and in a mezzanine on the second floor. The authorities estimate that the second phase would cost 55 million dollars. CLC spokeswoman Lindsey Nemcek said the timing for phase two has yet to be determined.

Earlier this month, the CLC board of directors finalized a $ 50 million bond issue, part of which will fund ATC.

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