Working Hard Quietly, Letting Progress Make All the Noise
April is traditionally a month of transition, arriving when winter ends and spring begins. In Chicago, April also brings with it every type of weather from rain to snow to wind to sleet. In a typical year, as temperatures warm and the grass begins to green, the noise level outside gets louder from birds singing, construction projects kicking into high gear, and people needing to get out after a long winter. However, this past month, neither the buzz of snow, nor the booming sounds of construction could drown out the loudest noise captured in media headlines around the world as it relates to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With the “stay at home” order for State of Illinois residents now extended through May, SOS Illinois’ is proud to share daily operations continue without interruption. We are grateful for our incredible Foster Parents, casework and clinical teams, supportive staff members and so many incredible donors, who have worked to ensure the health and safety of everyone at our organization. We also recognize our good friends and the hard work being done at the Roosevelt Square Community Center construction site at 13th Street and Blue Island Avenue. This month, the crew continued checking off milestone tasks. Although this was done quietly and without calling much attention to the process, we can step back for a moment and allow the success of their progress to make all the noise.
In April 2020, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois saw the last few weeks’ activities focused on electricians finishing the task of laying in the electrical and data floor boxes. This led to the monumental stage of pouring the concrete slab on grade. Our community center officially now has its floor installed. An important note for this work means that all underground work in the actual building is complete. Accomplishing this task is important not only for the timeline of construction, but also symbolically it offers a bit of hope for us all, as this means that literally there is nowhere to go, but up.
Additionally, exterior work on the building consisted of the continuation of installing the substructure for the mounting of the metal panel facade around the entire structure. Once completed, the exterior gypsum wall sheathing installation took place, and was then followed by the application of waterproofing sealant over all exterior walls.
Also, the crew framed out windows and began installing panes of glass along the north and west sides of the building. As the building nears complete enclosure, interior work continues and this month included partition layout, stud framing, and roughing in walls. Additionally, utilities for the building are nearing completion with the gas meter installation finished, as well as electricity and internet soon to follow.
As you will notice from the construction timeline presented in the last few blogs and below in this update, our friends at Lendlease have helped us achieve a great victory by keeping to our construction schedule. Supporting our children and families, Foster Parents, and staff is more important now than ever, and our new center will help us in so many ways by providing needed programs and services. Below is a timetable of the community center’s construction:
Construction Began – October 2019
Foundation Complete – December 2019
Structure Started – February 2020
Structure Complete – Anticipated Early March 2020
Structure Enclosed – Anticipated Late April 2020
Occupancy of Center – Anticipated Late September 2020
The Roosevelt Square Community Center
This center, an 11,000 square foot space, will serve the children and families at our Roosevelt Square Village and surrounding communities. Programs will include academic, therapeutic, social, and recreational support; multi-use spaces for community members to connect to public resources and engage in training, activities, and events; as well as a signature culinary kitchen providing food and nutrition education, and jobs-skills training for the hospitality industry. In addition to the over one hundred children and families cared for by SOS Illinois, more than 5,000 people from the surrounding neighborhoods will be served by the center.
Throughout the course of the construction project, visit the SOS Illinois blog to see videos, pictures, and updates on the progress of the building. We look forward to sharing each milestone reached in the development of this important community resource.
Missed a moment? Check out the updates from September, October, November, December, January 2020, February 2020, and March 2020.
Ways to Support the Community Center Project
Through the generous commitment of time, resources, and financial support of many, SOS Illinois is determined to raise the necessary investments to build the Community Center and provide a beacon for the Village residents and surrounding neighborhoods. For ways to invest or learn more about the Community Center, visit here.