The College of Lake County earned another major recognition from a national organization for environmental and sustainability practices.
The Grayslake-based community college earned a "silver" rating from the Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education, the college announced Thursday. With the rating, CLC maintained its Top 10 status among associate colleges in the U.S.
To qualify for the recognition, the college's staff had to submit a report detailing every aspect of efforts toward ecological diversity, including the construction of its buildings and the inclusion of sustainability in the curriculum.
CLC previously applied for the award in 2017 and won silver then, too, said David Husemoller, CLC's sustainability manager. Colleges can apply for the award every three years.
"It's affirming to have this validation of our continued excellence in sustainability," Husemoller said.
When the school submitted its last award application, the much-lauded Science Building hadn't been completed yet. Husemoller said the building was part of the reason the school earned silver again this time around.
Among the Science Building's most important green features are the geothermal wells. Massive pumps on the building's fourth floor draw groundwater from deep wells into pipes. The water is always around 55 degrees, helping warm the building in the winter and cool it during the summer.
The building's roof has 187 solar panels on one section. A 1,500-square-foot green roof on another section captures rainwater runoff.
Husemoller said he was grateful for the process.
"It's nice that there's a tool out there able to help us understand our strengths and the areas we need to work at," Husemoller said.
Earlier this year, the school was one of just five colleges in the country to be honored with a Green Ribbon by the U.S. Department of Education.