Lake Erie College is proud to celebrate the completion of renovations to College Hall, thanks to a grant from the American Express Partners in Preservation program, a partnership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation. The College will celebrate the dedication of the new lobby on Friday, September 18 at 1 p.m. on the front steps of College Hall.

In October 2019, LEC participated in the 2019 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets Program to compete for a share of $2 million in preservation funding from American Express. The 13 winners, including LEC, were determined by a public voting campaign conducted online and in person at special events across the country. Thanks to support from alumni and the Painesville community, LEC was awarded a portion of the grant to preserve historic College Hall.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the campaign highlighted the many contributions of women to main streets across America. The College put forth College Hall as one of the oldest institutions for higher learning in the Western Reserve, from its start as a female seminary to a coeducational institution today. Throughout the Centennial Suffrage Celebration students and faculty at LEC have traced the connections of alumni, faculty and administrators to the suffrage initiative.

The updates to College Hall included new flooring, a permanent reception desk area, and repair and painting to the walls and entrance doors. The back porch of College Hall was also repaired and painted, to provide welcoming entrances to the building for all students and visitors. The renovation was completed in August.

"This was truly a community effort through our partnership with the Downtown Painesville Organization,” said Vice President of Advancement Tony Fulgenzio. “Members of the community and our loyal LEC alumni joined forces to vote each day and secure the support needed to qualify for these generous grant funds from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation."