Building Walls that Also Build Bridges
During this time of staying at home, most people have had their own share of challenges, whether they are related to their personal or a family member’s health, the loss of a job or trying to work remotely, helping children with online learning, or simply getting groceries from the store. The stress of this pandemic is making it seem as if right now we are all under construction. The longer we stay within the confines of the walls of our home, we start to think of them as barriers that are keeping us from connecting with others.
However, as we are seeing with the progress of construction at the Roosevelt Square Community Center site at 13th Street and Blue Island Avenue, the walls being built there are not impediments. Instead, the walls being constructed will very soon connect our children and families to essential services. The divides in the building’s interior will soon build a pathway to programs needed in the center’s surrounding neighborhoods. The walls of our new community center then, in a sense, are not only walls but also bridges to our community.
This month, once again the crew working on the center made significant progress. In May 2020, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois saw the last few weeks’ activities focused on completing the installation of frames around the buildings’ exterior, which was then followed by the glazing install at the canopy elevations. Additionally, the very exciting work of installing the exterior metal panels has begun. This means if you view our pictures in the video or drive by the building, you’ll see it’s starting to resemble the renderings with the signature blue exterior walls now intact.
Also, the crew continued to frame out windows and finished installing panes of glass on all sides of the building. The building is now completely enclosed, which makes way for more interior work to be completed. Drywall started to get hung over the stud framing along the west interior working east, in preparation for the in-wall inspection. Additionally, the roofing installation was completed on the building.
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 capacities 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.
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.