COURTESY OF TRITON COLLEGE
River Grove, Ill. - Gov. Pat Quinn visited Triton College on Oct. 28 to engage with the institution's students, faculty and staff, as he recognized the state's contribution to the construction of Triton's new Health and Sciences Building on its River Grove campus.
"I do believe in investing in community college," Gov. Quinn said to a crowded room of Triton students, staff and faculty. "We have added, in Illinois, 711,000 people in one year to health care coverage – an enormous stride forward – and we have to make sure we have people prepared to serve our expanding number of individuals who need health care in our state and that means health science careers are imperative for men and women. And the building that we are building here, I think it's really special… It's preparing students for these careers – to take care of others in the area of health – with not only the building but the [advanced] equipment in the building."
Gov. Quinn also spoke about his time teaching at Triton from 1981 to 1982.
"I was honored to teach here," he said. "I taught consumer economics at night, and I was so impressed by the students from far and wide. Most worked all day and then we were here from 10 to 10:30 at night, and they really had a zeal for learning. They wanted to learn all they could about the subject. I was impressed by their commitment… They learned a lot; I learned a lot."
Senator Don Harmon also spoke at the event, thanking Gov. Quinn for his contribution to the future of Triton's students. "Triton College is a jewel in our community, with its great Board of Trustees, dedicated staff and phenomenal faculty," he said. "But mostly, Governor, it's the students. And your belief in education, your belief in investing in young people to give them the skills to work for a living and obtain good-paying jobs, this new facility is going to fulfill that mission and I'm so grateful for your continuous leadership on this issue."
Triton's Health and Sciences Building has been in the making for nearly 15 years. The construction project, which began in March, includes transforming the college's outdated, former Technology Building, or H Building, into a state-of-the-art facility conducive to students' education.
The project includes a complete renovation of the existing two-story building and an addition to create a new 70,800-square-foot Health and Sciences Building. Renovation plans include site work and site utilities, as well as the repair of the existing brick masonry and the infill of existing high-bay spaces. Much of the building's features will be new, including interior partitions and finishes, interior and exterior doors, heating and cooling systems, electrical systems and more.
The building will house such educational programs as nursing, surgical technology, diagnostic medical sonography, nuclear medicine and ophthalmology, as well as provide classrooms for some biology and chemistry courses. Plus, it will include such features as a surgical technology and dissection lab, collaborative learning spaces and a computer commons area with Wi-Fi capability. It will also be equipped with sophisticated tools and equipment used by today's professionals in the health and sciences industries.
The projected opening date of the building is fall 2015.
The investment is part of Gov. Quinn's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years.
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