Harper College celebrated the reopening of one of its six original buildings after a renovation transformed the 1969-era structure into a state-of-the-art learning environment.
More than 200 people gathered in the Building D rotunda, now known as the Beaubien Family Rotunda, on Thursday morning for a dedication ceremony.
Funded by capital referendum dollars approved by District 512 residents, the 18-month, $44.8 million project was delivered on time and under budget.
Board Chair Greg Dowell thanked the taxpayers, saying the new and improved facility
is a "truly magnificent learning center that will serve the students for decades to
Building D was brought into the 21st century with the introduction of natural light into every classroom, modernized classrooms, improved acoustics to better support learning and the latest instructional technology.
The renovated facility also features more collaborative study space, a lab for English as a Second Language and World Language, and a lab for Harper’s American Sign Language and Interpreter Training programs.
Instead of demolishing the structure and constructing a new building, the College renovated to save 10 to 15 percent in construction costs and support sustainability efforts. Ninety percent of building materials removed during demolition were recycled, and more than 80 percent of materials used to build the project were sourced from within 500 miles of campus.
The centerpiece of Building D is a two-story, glass rotunda that creates an inviting place for students to meet, study and learn. It’s known as the Beaubien Family Rotunda in recognition of Educational Foundation Board member Dee Beaubien’s $100,000 gift to support Harper’s Promise program.
"Dee and her family have made an investment in Promise, but more than that, they've become champions of the program," Harper College President Dr. Ken Ender said.
Media contact:Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159