Wight & Company and Joliet Junior College Unveil Expanded, State-of-the-art and Environmentally Friendly Automotive Center

As part of an ambitious effort to accommodate an increase in enrollment and provide a technologically-advanced learning environment for students, Joliet Junior College will unveil this fall an expanded, state-of-the-art automotive technology center and learning facility.

Designed by Wight & Company, a leader in integrated architecture, engineering and construction solutions, the automotive technology expansion, which is targeting LEEDr Silver certification, includes a new commercial shop area with 16 service bays, four new classrooms, a dedicated customer service area and new parts and equipment storage rooms.

"The addition creates a superior learning environment for Joliet Junior College students," said Ed Faron, project manager for Wight & Company. "Students will now have computers at each vehicle service bay for convenient access to instructional literature, repair guidelines and automotive part diagrams. In-ground vehicle lifts provide the highest quality facility for auto repair. And, the four new classrooms dedicated to automotive instruction are outfitted with projectors and screens for instructor presentations."

At the same time, the addition of 17,000 square feet enables Joliet Junior College to accommodate even more students to satisfy the increased demand in automotive courses. The expansion forms the east edge of a newly configured and re-landscaped entry plaza at the main entrance of Building D.
The new commercial auto shop, a vehicle maintenance shop that serves the students and faculty of Joliet Junior College, frees up the former auto shop space so it can be used as an extension of the classroom.

"The new Joliet Junior College Automotive Technology Center provides real-world work experiences that are essential in cutting edge technical programs," Cecile Regner, JJC interim dean of career and technical education, said. "This new construction doubles the capacity of the Automotive Technology program, and our ability to serve the taxpayers."

Wight & Company, who designed and built the first LEED-certified school in Illinois, developed the expansion to both facilitate learning and be environmentally friendly. "We strive to incorporate sustainability in everything we do. With this project, we are happy to have delivered an end product that meets the educational needs of Joliet Junior College students while also achieving environmental responsibility, said Faron. "Green" elements of the expansion include:

 Skylights and clerestory to utilize natural light
 LED lighting fixtures on occupancy sensors
 Shop and classrooms served by separate high-efficiency HVAC equipment
 Light-colored coating on asphalt parking lot and a white single-ply roof to reduce urban heat island effect
 Controlled rainwater discharge into sewer system
 Native landscaping
 Recycling more than 75 percent of the project's construction waste.

The grand opening for the automotive center's expansion will take place Tuesday, August 30 at 4 p.m. on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet. The community is welcome to attend the event, which will begin with an opening ceremony and guest speakers, followed by a reception and refreshments. Tours also will be available. To attend, please RSVP by August 23 to Sharon Medek at smedek@jjc.edu or (815) 280-2201.

About Wight & Company
Established in 1939, Wight & Company is a leader in integrated solutions for the built environment. With a professional staff of specialists, including 60 LEED Accredited Professionals, Wight provides clients with comprehensive architecture, engineering and construction management services to the public and private sectors. As the architect of 30 LEED-certified or registered projects including silver, gold and platinum designations, Wight is committed to sustainable design and construction principles. It maintains offices in Chicago and Darien, Ill. For more information, visit www.wightco.com.
Media Contact: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Peter Duckler, 312/649-0371, pduckler@hlbcomm.com