EFFINGHAM – Lake Land College and Patterson Companies officials announced Wednesday that the college is expected to purchase the company’s nearly 100,000-square-foot building in Effingham and lease back a portion of the space to Patterson.
“This partnership is truly a win-win for Patterson, Lake Land College and the Effingham region,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said during a press conference at the Patterson building. “This collaboration opens the door to new programming and learning opportunities that provide pathways to sustainable careers and a highly trained workforce.”
“Patterson Companies is committed to the success of our community. As we have transitioned to a workforce of the future with a significant remote work population, we are invested in keeping a physical presence in the area. Therefore, we will be leasing back space from Lake Land on an annual basis,” Patterson Dental President Tim Rogan said. “We look forward to the opportunities this arrangement will provide to our community.”
At Monday’s regular meeting, the Lake Land College Board of Trustees is expected to approve the use of $12.5 million in bond funds to go toward the purchase of the Patterson building at 1201 Althoff Drive, a 99,216-square-foot, LEED-silver certified building and 20 acres of land. The college will be using a combination of the recent bonded funds and existing building funds to complete the $15.5 million purchase. This will have no impact on the student tuition rate or the college’s property tax levy rate.
The Board is also expected to approve a long-term agreement for Patterson to lease back employee and technology workspace to continue their operations and presence in the community.
As part of the agreement, Patterson has generously offered to donate the contents of the building to the Lake Land College Foundation, excluding equipment necessary for Patterson’s ongoing operations. Contents include a variety of office furniture, technology and equipment.
Originally, the Lake Land Board of Trustees issued $12.5 million in bonds to fund the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot Rural Development Technology Center (RDTC) to house the Effingham Regional Career Academy (ERCA) and to remodel the existing 24,000-square-foot Kluthe Center in Effingham, among other capital projects. This was all done without an increase to taxpayers.
Lake Land College will no longer be constructing a new facility for the ERCA, nor further renovating the existing Kluthe Center. Instead, Lake Land will be moving all programming from the Kluthe Center to the facility purchased from Patterson, as well as locating the ERCA in the facility.
The building will be named the Lake Land College Effingham Technology Center and will be highly visible from Interstate 57, which has an average daily traffic count of more than 45,000.
President Bullock added, “Purchasing the Patterson facility is a much wiser use of the bond funds that were allocated for constructing a new space and renovating the Kluthe Center. With this use of the taxpayer funds, the Effingham Technology Center will provide the college with nearly double the square footage than would have been available with the renovation of Kluthe and construction of the RDTC. This puts Lake Land on a path to continue meeting the educational needs of the region and positions the college for future growth and expansion of innovative programming in Effingham.”
The college currently plans to retain the Kluthe Center and is considering alternative uses for the building and surrounding land. Recently, the college installed a new HVAC system and roof at the center.
Lake Land College anticipates the Effingham Technology Center will be fully operational for classes by Fall 2024.