Mortenson Construction recently completed the exterior construction of Joliet Junior College’s new flagship building in downtown Joliet, IL.
The new building is an important milestone in the community college’s plans to relocate and expand its culinary arts, workforce development, GED/ESL and adult education programs. Adjacent to the Renaissance Center, the new 96,000 square foot, six-story building will anchor JJC’s city center campus and serve as an economic catalyst for Joliet.
“Joliet Junior College has been a leader and an innovator since its founding more than 100 years ago as the first public community college in the United States. JJC’s vision for transforming its city center campus and helping spur downtown economic development with this state-of-the-art building is another example of its progressive approach,” says Greg Werner, vice president and head of Mortenson Construction’s Chicago office. “Students, Joliet residents and local businesses will all benefit from this new center of learning.”
Built to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver energy-efficiency standards, the steel-and-concrete structure is composed of 1,100 tons of structural steel, more than four times the amount in the State of Liberty. It also contains 3,000 cubic yards of concrete for the foundation and floors, requiring 350 full concrete trucks.
The new JJC building’s striking exterior is achieved with four types of materials. About two-thirds of the building is covered in an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS,) which combines insulation and substrate. About 15% is oko, which is glass fiber-reinforced concrete made of recycled fabricated materials from Sweden. The oko horizontal panels contain gaps that serve as rain screens. As a counterbalance, about 5% of the building is made of insulated metal panels that add contrast. Windows round out the rest of the exterior, including a sweeping two-story curtain wall at the main entrance at the corner of Chicago and Webster streets that provides a panoramic view of downtown Joliet.
More than 70% of the work on the exterior construction and installation of heating, cooling and ventilation units was contracted to businesses within the JJC school district. Once completed, the new building is expected to attract 500 new students into the city.