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MCC's Building B gets an 'A'

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(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Culinary students Keith Goodman (left) and Chris Arnesen prepare a vegetarian potsticker meal on Tuesday for an event the same evening to unveil the recent renovations at the McHenry County College's Building B. The building's interior was reopened last week after being under construction since May of this year.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Whether they’re eating, studying or just hanging out, McHenry County College students seem to love the newly renovated Building B.

“I was like, ‘whoa’ my mind was blown,” 20-year-old nursing student Steven Scaliatine of Cary said, recalling the first time he walked into Building B when it opened in October. “Before it was just really boring white and blue.”

The college renovated one of its main buildings over the summer after a student survey indicated students wanted more places on campus to study, interact and relax, “especially since we do not have a formal student center, as many colleges do,” MCC spokeswoman Christina Haggerty said.

“It’s definitely more colorful,” said 19-year-old student Brianna McDevitt of Spring Grove. “I don’t feel like I have to be eating to sit in here.”

McDevitt was sitting Thursday with a group of friends studying before class.

But beyond bright lighting, vibrant colors and new furniture, the focal point of the redesign is the newly added culinary lab and production kitchen, with large viewing windows to see what the students are creating.

The lab will accommodate a growing number of students in the college’s culinary management program. Launched in 2009, the college offered a culinary associate degree in 2011 and is eying a similar baking and pastry degree.

The $5 million renovation began in May and the building opened to students Oct. 1. Earlier this week, the college hosted a reception for community members.

The Café will use environmentally friendly products, and added snack and dining options, such as fire-cooked pizza.

The main entrance of Building B also was redesigned for easier flow of people.

The project also provided more room for events at the Luecht Conference Center and breakout rooms for additional meeting space.

“With the demand for more space, the options we have available needed to be updated to better meet the needs of the facility rental user,” Haggerty said.

The project was led by Pepper Construction and RuckPate Architecture.

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