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Lewis and Clark College agrees to renovate historic Main Complex

Lewis and Clark Community College will commit $12.5 million in match funding to support a major renovation of the Godfrey Campus’ Main Complex.

In 2019, the State of Illinois allocated $37.5 million to LCCC’s Main Complex Renovation Project, but no money has been released to date.

“The $12.5 million represents a 25 percent match to support an important and long overdue renovation that ensures the operational vitality of our campus,” said LCCC President Ken Trzaska. “College leadership is encouraged that the action taken by our board Monday night demonstrates the college’s commitment to this important project for our campus and community and to this funding coming to fruition.”

The Board of Trustees voted Monday night to approve the measure, during a special board meeting.

In August, the college closed two floors of Baldwin and Caldwell Halls, both at the heart of the Main Complex, to address safety and health concerns involving HVAC issues contributing to the growth of mold. The closures displaced 46 faculty, 26 offices, and 136 class sections, for a total of 153 classroom moves to other locations on campus and 33 moves from face-to-face to virtual. Student services were among the offices impacted.

College leadership said the spaces will remain closed indefinitely, adding a sense of urgency to the renovation project.

“We hope to avoid additional operational setbacks that could very well impact enrollment negatively as well as our collective ability to apply our mission and serve our students and community at optimal levels,” Trzaska said. “If and when funding is released, we would initiate conceptual designs for renovation. This would involve a comprehensive team from our campus as well as community members and students. We have a really good opportunity to be mindful of our budget and resources, but also think about the future of the Main Complex and its alignment to the college’s mission, values and future growth.”

During the meeting, three faculty – Lewis and Clark Faculty Association President Debbie Witsken, Radio Broadcasting Coordinator Mike Lemons and Professor of Music Peter Hussey – urged the board to support the match.

Witsken said the renovation of the Main Complex, which dates back to the 1800s and is a landmark for the community, is necessary to continue to meet the needs of the local community through teaching and learning.

“We need you, and this is a great opportunity for all of us to work together to do something amazing for our campus,” she said.

Board Chair David Heyen supported the authorization.

“This does not mean we have to come up with $12.5 million tonight – it means we are open to providing that money,” Heyen said. “I’m encouraged by this opportunity and think a renovation of this space could even help Lewis and Clark attract more students in the future.

The authorization was supported 6-1.

LCCC’s historic Main Complex dates back to the 1800s and was a part of the old Monticello College. It comprises Fobes Hall, Baldwin Hall, Caldwell Hall, Reid Hall and Wade Hall. LCCC file photo


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