Illinois Central College lands new ‘green’ land

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

 A gift of a 10-acre plot of farmland to Illinois Central College helps clear the way for an innovative and educational center that officials say will focus on “green” building and sustainable development.

The proposed venture is being called the “sustainability education center.” ICC is to team up with area labor management, building trades and architectural and engineering firms to build a center using materials, techniques and designs all geared toward energy conservation and the environment.

The building would serve as a classroom for ICC students, a learning center for the trades and a resource center for homeowners and business owners wanting to incorporate energy conservation and sustainability into their property, said Bruce Budde, ICC’s vice president of administration and finance.

“This will be something that showcases technology and the changes in the (building) industry,” Budde said. He described the building as having “cut-away walls like Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry” to show how residential or commercial applications work and are installed.

Examples might be photovoltaic or solar energy applications to offset electrical needs or solar thermal hot water systems, geothermal heating and cooling or even small wind technology. Another possibility might be a rainwater harvesting system that could be used to flush toilets.

The center is still in the conceptual stages and currently has no funding.

The 10-acre parcel of land, just east of the college’s entrance off U.S Route 24 in East Peoria, was donated by Charles and Carol Blye of East Peoria. The Blyes did not return a phone call for comment.

Anthony Corso, ICC’s director of green building programs and sustainability coordinator, said little in the way of building construction has changed in the past 100 years, but a center like what is being planned will help educate people about other options.

“This is about getting people knowledge and resources they need to ask questions in a different way — a paradigm shift,” he said.