Elgin Community College (ECC) is a public community college in Elgin, Illinois. It was founded in 1949 as part of Elgin Area School District U46. Community College District 509 was formed 17 years later in 1966, a year after Illinois legislators created the Illinois Community College System. Most of the District is in Kane County with portions in DeKalb, Cook, McHenry, and DuPage. The 360-square-mile (930 km2) District serves 300,000 people, 11,000 businesses, four public school districts, and 15 high schools.
Classes were originally held in the Elgin High School (now the Gifford Street School) but later moved a 145-acre (58.7 ha) campus developed on what was previously the farm colony of Elgin State Hospital. On April 7, 2009, voters in District 509 approved a $178M bond referendum to finance the renovation and expansion of the campus.
Elgin Community College was founded on January 10, 1949, in Elgin, Illinois. A wing of Elgin High School housed the college, which was once a part of Public School District U-46. . Gilbert I. Renner was appointed dean in July 1950 and in December 1959, the college relocated from the high school to Renner Hall on East Chicago Street in Elgin.
The Junior College Act passed by the Illinois General Assembly on July 15, 1965, resulted in the formation of Junior College District 509. On April 12, 1966, the U-46 board approved to divest itself of ECC, allowing the college to become independent. The first District 509 board election, held on June 4, 1966, heralded the college's first seven elected trustees: Robert Hoffer, John Eshelman, Harry Blizzard, Paul Bolger, Richard Gromer, Joseph McCarthy, and Frieda Simon.
ECC continued to expand with a number of educational sites across its district, including the annexation of Public School District 300 into District 509. Other milestones included the implementation of ECC's first vocational/technical program—nursing—in June 1965; and earning accreditation from the North Central Association in March 1968.