The Explanation of Wight & Co. of What MCC’s Campus Should Look Like 40 Years from Now

McHenry County College Facilty Master Plan Information provided by the college after the presentation:

Facility Master Plan Information – April 26, 2012


Wight company logo.

Rationale: Why MCC Should Pursue a Master Plan

  • The development and planning for facilities now offers an opportunity to look to the future and acquire land in order to avoid examples of other community colleges that are currently land-locked.
  • What comes first – space or excess demand? The surrounding community needs (and desires) a college that is change ready. MCC goals include the ability to implement programs—often as fast as six weeks—in order to support community members and businesses in training those who desire a career but many not require a full, four-year program, as well as continuing education or re-training needs. If the College waits for the demand, it will take too long to build the space needed, and student may likely enroll elsewhere. MCC needs to build the space first in order to be able to respond to community immediately.
  • A master planning process organizes and plans out ways to ensure adequate space is in place to meet community needs and guarantee student success.
  • This planning offers an opportunity to implement sustainable and long-term, energy-saving strategies in replacement of an aging infrastructure.

Projected Student Growth

  • Based on MCC enrollment history, nationwide trends for a greater portion of the population enrolling in community colleges rather than traditional four-year universities and increased focus on career-training/adult-re-training, an average 3% annual rate of growth, expressed in full-time-equivalent (FTE) student enrollment, will be used for our projections.
  • FTE is used by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and is based on credit hours combined for all students, expressing the equivalent head count as if all students were full time.
  • The following numbers reflect this projection, taking the 3% annual enrollment increase into account:
    • Current (2012): 4,100 FTE
    • 10 Years: 5,500 FTE
    • 20 Years: 7,400 FTE
    • 40 Years: 13,400 FTE

Here's what consultants Wight think the McHenry County campus should look like 40 years from now. Click to enlarge.

Projected Space Needs

  • The current main campus facilities are undersized in comparison to peer community colleges (College of DuPage, College of Lake County, Elgin Community College, Harper College, Waubonsee Community College).
  • Peer community colleges range from 85-169 gross square foot (GSF) per student (this range also includes Moraine Valley Community College).
  • Currently, MCC has 97 GSF per student. After removing the peer community colleges with the highest and lowest GSF, MCC should be at 120-125 GSF per student today.
  • A square footage reduction factor of 86.6% was used to lower the projected on-campus built space to accommodate for more on-line courses and programs taught off campus.
  • MCC currently has a total of 398,000 GSF. This means that the College is currently short approximately 100,000 GSF, needing a total of 492,000 GSF right now. Here is what the minimum GSF needed will be in future years:
    • 10 Years: 574,000 GSF
    • 20 Years: 773,000 GSF
    • 40 Years: 1,399,000 GSF
  • This is the minimum need, and MCC will need additional space to accommodate larger spaces that do not currently exist, such as auditoriums, theatres and larger, multi-purpose flexible space.

Projected Parking Needs

  • MCC parking currently has 2,150 spaces. Based on student and space projections outlined above, here is how parking will be impacted in the future:
    • Need in 10 Years: 2,900 spaces
    • Need in 20 Years: 3,800 spaces
    • Need in 40 Years: 7,000 spaces
  • Transportation options and needs may change in the future; one possibility is un-manned shuttles that would take people from remote parking lots/transportation to campus buildings.
  • Parking garages are shown on the plan as an option to all surface lot parking.

Recommendations to Date

  • Based on MCC Educational Master Plan and feedback from employee and trustee interviews, the College needs to blend enrollment-based space needs with program improvement/initiative needs.
  • From extensive review of facilities and discussions with employees and students, space needs have been demonstrated in the following areas: Student Support Services; Health Careers, Math and Sciences; Technology and Career centers; multi-use classrooms for both academics and community events; Public Safety instruction; Fine Arts workspace; and multi-use large spaces.
  • The recommended concept will provide visibility and transparency to the community by facing U.S. Highway 14.
  • Maintain impervious land coverage to green space ratio under 50%. (Master Plan is at 40-42%).
  • Students/employees/visitors should be able to walk anywhere on the main campus property within 10-20 minutes (this timeframe is in the same range for many high schools).

Budget Planning Information

  • 10 yr -$278.5 M in 2013 dollars – land acquisition and owner soft costs not included
  • 20 yr -$199.3 M in 2013 dollars – land acquisition and owner soft costs not included
  • 40 yr -$162.1 M in 2013 dollars – land acquisition and owner soft costs not included

Contact Information

Wight & Company

Leanne Meyer-Smith, AIA, LEED AP BD +C

Senior Project Manager and Licensed Architect

(630) 969-7000

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