When Society is Asked to Hit the “Stay at Home” Button, Construction Keeps Going
When March 2020 began, we thought the biggest surprise we were facing was that it already was the end of the first quarter; however, amidst the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, across the United States, and here in Illinois we have quickly realized that surprise was nothing in relation to the unprecedented situation we all are facing.
Last week, Governor Pritzker announced, a “stay at home” order for State of Illinois residents. The order allowed essential services to continue operations. Social service agencies, such as SOS Illinois, have continued daily operations, allowing staff to provide necessary onsite support, as well as remote work. Additionally, construction work, in a number of capacities, has also been deemed an essential service. This means that as residents of Illinois have been asked to “stay at home,” our incredible construction crew has been keeping at it and making immense progress on the Roosevelt Community Center at 13th Street and Blue Island Avenue.
In March 2020, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois saw the last few weeks’ activities focused on topping off the building and beginning work on the interior of the building. The final roofing panels were installed. A complex process that included prefabricated pieces of wood being shipped to the site, a massive crane to lift the panels into place, crew members both on the roof and below on lifts, all working together to guide each tile to its exact place – like pieces in a puzzle. The tiles were then ratcheted into place to ensure a tight seam, screwed down, and then temporary railings were set in place. Once that was complete, the temporary roof was installed to protect the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).
Construction work this month also included the installation of all the duct work for the HVAC system for the entire building. Additional overhead work included the installation of the fire suppression system for the building. Electricians are now onsite, laying in the electrical and data floor boxes, in anticipation of the concrete slab on grade pour that will take place soon. Exterior work on the building consisted of the substructure for the mounting of the metal panel facade.
Also, important as the gaze begins to turn inward on the building, a meeting with the architect, furniture designer, and staff was held to share additional details of what the interior of the building will look like. Sneak peek: It looks as if our unmistakable SOS Illinois branded blue color will be visible throughout the building.
Sustainable Architecture: The Eco-Friendly Features of the Community Center
As shared in previous blogs, most notable for Chicago is the center will be the first public building in the city permitted to be fully constructed from Cross Laminated Timbers (CLT). The eco-friendly features of the new center complement the nonprofits Village Model of Care, a sustainable model of foster care that stabilizes families, strengthens communities, and builds lasting change for future generations.
The architectural planning, inspired by generous donations, will include the use of eco-friendly materials, like CLT and Glulam columns and beams, as well as sustainable and renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, and energy efficient appliances and light fixtures. The site location and inclusion of an urban garden, both further promote the organization’s commitment to responsible development.
Again, we would like to say a special thank you to our friends at Lendlease for their commitment during this unprecedented time. With their leadership, we continue to remain on schedule with the construction project. As the vision of the Roosevelt Square Community Center continues taking shape, those watching are eagerly anticipating the services it will provide to our families and the surrounding community. Below is a timetable of the center 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 member 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, and February 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.