The largest school district in Lake County, with more than 16,000 students, Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 will see a lot of physical improvements over the next 10 years, but it already has been making notable progress in academics.

“This year 15 of our 21 schools were rated ‘commendable’ – the second-highest tier – by the State Board of Education, based on student achievement and growth our students are showing. None of our schools were rated in the lowest tier,” said District 60 spokesman Nicholas Alajakis.

With input from taxpayers, parents, staff and city officials, the school board also is drafting a 10-year Capital Improvement Plan to guide repairs and renovations to its facilities between now and 2030.

Meanwhile, work continues to install air conditioning in every school by 2020 or 2021. And the division of high schoolers that began in 2017 – with juniors and seniors now attending Waukegan High’s Washington Campus while all freshmen and sophomores go to the campus on Brookside Avenue – has been followed by upgrades to both buildings. In 2018 Brookside’s Trapp Auditorium, a 2,000-seat facility that hosts plays, concerts and events for every school and for many Waukegan community groups, got a major renovation that included refurbishing the seats and floor/ceiling restoration.

Other new programs include the expansion of after-school athletic programs on the middle school level and a summer pilot program in which students can gain experience about specialized trades jobs. During this pilot program students will be exposed to a job application and interview process, multiple skilled trades positions, and real-world job responsibilities and expectations.

Elementary and middle school students also have had increased opportunities to participate in field trips, after-school tutoring and extra-curricular clubs such as Girls On The Run, GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math & Science), Young Men of Vision, Imagination Destination and Mariachi.

College of Lake County

Big improvements are in the works for the College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus in downtown Waukegan, which offers residents of northeast Lake County an opportunity to pursue higher education close to home.

Ground will be broken in fall 2019 on an estimated $48 million project to expand and consolidate the Lakeshore Campus. In stages from late 2020 through 2022, the construction will create a new high-rise building with sweeping views of Lake Michigan from a top-floor meeting and conference center plus a vibrant streetscape below. CLC’s existing buildings at 33 and 111 N. Genesee St. will be remodeled, creating attractive outdoor spaces and building a second-story bridge from the college’s parking garage to the buildings.

“We have a large lab for Automation, Robotics and Mechatronics at our Grayslake Campus and we will replicate that in Waukegan starting this fall,” said CLC spokeswoman Anne O’Connell.

Students in these in-demand skill areas can apply for aid from a perhaps unexpected source – the rock band Metallica. A grant from the Metallica Scholars Initiative offers tuition support for students in Automation, Computer Aided Design, and Automation, Robotics and Mechatronics.

“We’re also expanding our Medical Assistant and Phlebotomy programs at Lakeshore,” O’Connell said. “Those fields are good entry points to get your feet in the door in the medical professions. There is a huge demand for train   ed health care professionals in Lake County.”

“Besides the building, we now offer what we call the Lakeshore Commitment. In the past certain courses at Lakeshore were canceled because they did not have enough students. We have greatly enhanced our promise that you ca n get the classes you need in Waukegan. We also have done a lot of juggling of class schedules to make them more friendly to students who may work in the daytime.”

The campus also offers high school equivalency test preparation courses, English as a Second Language and noncredit continuing-education courses. Student support services include counseling, advising, registration, financial aid, tutoring, computer labs, a writing center, a library, and a child care center for age 2-6 that can be used even by low-income families not otherwise connected with the college. 

Schools, Colleges & Universities

College of Lake County
19351 W. Washington St.
Grayslake, IL 60030
(847) 543‑2000

College of Lake County
(Lakeshore Campus)
33 N. Genesee St.
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847) 543‑2191

Robert Morris University – Illinois
Lake County Branch
1507 N. Waukegan Rd.
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847) 578‑6000

Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep
3106 Belvidere Rd.
Waukegan, IL 60085
(224) 215‑9400

Chicago Community Learning Center
222 N. County St. B
Waukegan, IL 60085
(773) 506‑1503

LEARN 9 Campus Waukegan
1200 Glen Flora
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847) 377‑0690

Lake County Baptist Temple & School
1550 W. Yorkhouse Rd.
Waukegan, IL 60087
(224) 612‑1375

St Anastasia Catholic Church
624 Douglas Ave.
Waukegan IL 60085
(847) 623‑8320

City Of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce College Scholarship Program

Annual scholarship opportunity for high school graduates
The City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer up to two $1,000 scholarships to high school graduates and residents of Waukegan. Applications are judged by service to the community, interviews and response to essay.

If you or someone you know qualify for this program, please visit our website at for more information.