Design approved for new McHenry County College innovation center building

Initial designs for Foglia Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation were rejected for being over budget

aMcHenry County College trustees on Tuesday approved a design for the Foglia Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation after hearing new proposals from architects.

After three initial proposals came in over the construction budget, MCC trustees considered two new options for the building’s design, one of which falls within the required budget of $19.7 billion.

MCC received $15.8 million from the state’s 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital plan for the $22 million project, a price tag that includes design, engineering and construction costs. As a result, the project is being overseen by the Illinois Capital Development Board.

The other $6 million will come from donations from the Foglia Family Foundation and other donors.

The approved design would cost about $19.4 billion, and it is a pavilion- or factory-like design, an architect told the McHenry County Board of Trustees at a meeting this week. It will be a one- to two-story building, with one level having a parking lot and another level below it that also would be at the ground level in some spots because of the slope of the land.

The key design of the proposal is a glass side to the building, which the architects said would encourage people to look into the building for inspiration.

One architect said it was designed this was “so other students or the community can pass by there and see and understand the type of work that is being done there and get excited about it.”

The second design proposal had the opposite intention, instead encouraging people inside to look out. That proposal, which was not selected, was about $1 million over budget and would have created two wings of the building with a small green space in the middle.

One wing would have housed classrooms and office spaces, while the other would have had laboratory space.

Both designs were placed in the same spot on campus alongside the parking lot with the intention of connecting the new building with existing buildings to maintain the campus’ current design in which buildings are interconnected. Each propsal had about the same interior design and use of space on the inside in learning spaces. The architects said their goal was to maximize the use of the building’s space.

The first proposal also was the preferred option for architects because it uses the available funds best, they said. Both buildings would have been equal on energy efficiency.

The building is expected to be completed by 2023, after which it would house programs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning; welding; logistics; computer numerical control machining; engineering technology; advanced manufacturing; industrial maintenance; mechatronics; meteorology; and artificial intelligence.