Oakton Community College in Illinois, US is planning to break ground on a $39m science and health careers building at its Des Plaines campus in April 2012.
The start of work on the 93,000ft² facility will launch the college’s $68.5m five-year facilities master plan, approved by the board of trustees in December 2010.
Legat Architects is the lead architect for the plan and the building, while Turner Construction will serve as construction manager for the building.
Oakton president Margaret Lee said the project will help the college position itself as one of the leading centres of science and allied health training in the region.
"In addition, our facilities master plan will create more than 1,000 new jobs and pump more than $130m into the local economy," Lee said.
Located on the northeast side of the existing campus, the new building will house the college’s anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, earth science, medical laboratory technology, nursing, physics, and physical therapy assistant programmes.
The new building will feature labs, light-filled classrooms, enhanced technology, lab preparation, storage space and will maximise solar heat gain and mitigate winter winds.
Windows in the corridors and classrooms will frame the surrounding forest while offices and student study spaces will provide views of the lake.
Oakton will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the facility by incorporating green elements during construction.
Heating and cooling loads will be reduced by a system that uses exhaust air to preheat and cool supply air while lighting will be regulated with the help of occupancy sensors.
The building facade will have self-shading and daylight harvesting systems which will bring natural light to 75% of the classrooms.
The master plan also includes creating an enrollment centre as well as a student gathering centre, classroom upgrades and other infrastructure improvements.
The building is scheduled to be completed in May 2014.