Renovations to Young Hall were referenced in College Council minutes on September 11th as part of Lake Forest College’s five-year strategic plan established in 2013.

The College plans to pursue a renovation of one of the oldest academic buildings on campus after completion of the Lilliard Science Center in 2018, explained Stephen D. Schutt, President of Lake Forest College.

“We need to do the project. The building itself is 140 years old. It needs renovation and improvements of classrooms and space, new HVAC and a large addition for the back,” Schutt said. “We’re just getting too crowded.”

The wholesale renovation, expected to cost between $18 and $20 million, said Schutt, will include bigger classrooms, a new HVAC system, more faculty offices, and construction of an addition to the back of Young, although the plans are still in the conceptual phase.

Schutt said little will be done to the external appearance of Young.

The decision to update the 139-year-old building, known to be the hallmark of the campus, comes toward the end of the College’s five-year plan. This update will fulfill Strategy 4, which is listed in the 2013 strategic plan as to “make targeted investments in facilities CONTNIUED ON P3 in support of strategic goals.”

The current building serves numerous academic departments including Business, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Mathematics/Computer Science, History, and Politics.

In fact, Schutt found that one-third of the classes offered at Lake Forest College are held in Young Hall.

More than 60 professors have offices in Young– many of which are shared spaces, such as YO 219 where four professors use the same office.

The average class sizes in Young are made up of about 30 students, Schutt said.

He said the renovation will cost roughly between $18 and $20 million, which is more than the $17-million price tag of the Sports and Recreation Center finsihed in 2010, and the yet-to-be completed Lilliard Science Center that costed $43-million dollars.

Fundraising for the renovations will begin in 2018, Schutt said.

Business major McKenzie Mac ‘18, who has taken the majority of her coursework in Young, said that a renovation is highly needed.

“It would also be nice to see some advancements in technology if the college plans to renovate such as including smart boards,” she said. “We had them in every classroom at my boarding school.”

Although Mac doesn’t feel like the classrooms are crowded, she said they seem a bit congested and inflexible when it comes to doing collaborative work with other students.

In terms of what else might go into the new addition, Schutt hopes the Career Advancement Center, curently located in Buchanan Hall, can be moved into the space, he said.

“I think the renovation will be great,” he said. “I think to have that building renovated, expanded, and refreshed right in the middle of campus would be a terrific addition to the whole play of things we offer current students, faculty, as well as prospective students, parents, and visitors.”

Matt Demirs can be reached at


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