Waubonsee Community College to break ground on new technical education center

Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Community College held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Technical Education Center on April 23 on the south end of the Sugar Grove Campus.

“This groundbreaking ceremony represents a significant milestone for the college,” Waubonsee President Dr. Brian Knetl said in a new release announcing the event. “The building we’re constructing is a clear demonstration of Waubonsee’s commitment to providing students with the latest technology, hands-on experience, and training to prepare them for high-skill, high-demand, and high-wage careers in Illinois and beyond,” he said.

The 100,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in fall 2025 and will house Waubonsee’s auto body repair, automotive technology, and welding technology programs, according to the release. The plans include larger, dedicated labs with specialized equipment to increase enrollment capacities and allow additional program growth in diesel technology, electric vehicles, welding fabrication and robotic welding, according to the release.

“What excites me about the new building is having a functional shop that will allow us to train students in the way that they’re going to be expected to work in the field today,” Associate Professor of Automotive Technology Guy Tiberio said in the release.

The TEC is expected to cost $60 million and will be located near the south entrance of the Sugar Grove Campus, visible from Route 47. It will function as a collaboration hub and promote economic development in the region by addressing the high demand but critical labor shortage in these professions, according to the release.

Recently, Waubonsee was chosen to be one of 16 schools to participate in the Mopar® Career Automotive Program competition. The competition involves technical and curriculum-based bracket “knockout”-style contests, and its main objective is to highlight the significant shortage of automotive technicians in the real world while preparing students to enter the workforce, according to WCC.