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The nation’s first public community college, Joliet Junior College opened in 1901 as an experimental postgraduate high school program. Today, the college offers programs for students planning to attend a four-year university, occupational education, adult education and literacy programs, workforce development services, and student support services. They began with a total of six students enrolled, and today serve more than 30,000 students in credit and noncredit courses.
The campus setting at Joliet Junior College is unique: most of the buildings on the 273-acre campus are connected. One building that is not linked to the rest is the Event Center, a newly constructed facility containing gyms, event spaces, and more.
Once built, the next step was installing graphics. Through a public bidding process, Rick Lyman, Mgr. Construction/Facility Planning (and Joliet Junior College alumnus), and his team partnered up with Cushing.
The Joliet Junior College Wolves made sure their mascot was incorporated throughout the space. As you walk in, championship banners hang along the top left of the building, and displayed above the entrance is a large acrylic print of the JJC wolf. Dimensional lettering calls attention to a large trophy case and the information desk.
Need a refreshment? Follow the wolf head wall graphic to make your way to the concessions stand, which opens on both sides for indoor and outdoor events. For those enjoying an event outside, look for the dimensional lettering to lead you to the concessions stand.
Since this was a public bid project, the architect already had a graphics package, and shared it with Cushing.
An empty, brand-new building, meant that students and faculty did not need to be disrupted. During a large installation like this one, that is not always the case.
“The installation went very smoothly. We have a project labor agreement in place, so all of our labor has to be union. That wasn’t an issue for Cushing. They came in with union labor, and the installers did a great job.”
The Event Center is full of wall graphics. The Joliet Junior College logo is displayed on the information desk and a seating area. The Wolves’ mascot pops in purple against a dark wall, while “Joliet Junior College” vinyl cut lettering is subtly displayed in the locker rooms.
Upstairs, walls are lined with inspirational quotes and acrylic prints of the school’s athletes in action. Down the hall, you’ll find a large wall graphic of the JJC baseball team celebrating a win.
Although the Event Center has not had it’s hard opening yet, it has been open to the public for a few events. (The largest being the graduation ceremony in May.)
“There is a lot of interest from outside groups who want to rent the field house for soccer games or career fairs. There’s always something going on. Even if it’s not related to the college, people are interested in holding events here. We’ve even had a few people comment on the graphics, saying they like them and how cool they look,” Lyman said.