202 South Halsted Street
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
|Assistant Chapter Chair
Founded in 1957 as Bloom Township Junior College, Prairie State College’s first classes were held in 1958 in the basement of the First Christian Church. Originally established to offer only transfer liberal arts courses and occupational-technical courses, the College was reorganized in 1967 as a Class I junior college. With the combining of four high school districts into an enlarged territory, the College was renamed Prairie State College. In 1989, the Beecher Community High School district was added to District 515 by the Illinois Community College Board.
In 1968, the College was housed in 10 interim buildings on its campus at Halsted Street and Vollmer Road. Construction of permanent facilities began in the fall of 1972 and was completed for the 1975-76 academic year. A vocational-technical addition to the Main Campus Building, housing classrooms and laboratories, was dedicated in August 1979. A new Library, the Christopher Art Gallery and the Community Instructional Center (later renamed the Business & Community Education Center) opened in 1996. In the 1998, the Matteson Area Center opened as a convenient off-campus location to accommodate district residents.
The Health/Tech Center, home to the Dental Hygiene, Surgical Technology and Networking programs, opened in 2000. The Fitness Complex, a unique partnership among Prairie State College, the Chicago Heights Park District and St. James Hospital and Health Centers, opened in 2001. Ground was broken in May 2002 for the Adult Training and Outreach Center and Children’s Learning Center; the dedication ceremony was held two years later. The Adult Training and Outreach Center is one of only such buildings in the country dedicated to adult education.