Building Greener Futures
Despite it being the early days of fall, the area around the construction site of the Roosevelt Square Community Center turned not just a little, but a whole lot greener due to the completion of a number of this month’s projects.
As mentioned in previous updates, through the kind support of generous donors, we have been able to include more sustainable features in this facility than at any other SOS Illinois site. In the coming months, we are looking forward to further celebrating our commitment to building greener futures; and as the 12-month long project is quickly drawing to a close, these features visibly demonstrate to our families and neighbors our concern for the environment and public health.
In September 2020, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois saw the last few weeks of work at 13th Street and Blue Island Avenue focus on finishing the building’s landscaping. The last of the trees, shrubs, and wild grasses were planted to create the welcoming greenspace surrounding the facility. Additionally, a mammoth project also concluded, which was the installation of solar panels on our roof. Proving to be no small feat, the crew worked tirelessly and was able to ensure that going forward, SOS Illinois can do its part to reduce its carbon footprint.
Work inside the building continued the environmentally friendly projects for the month as energy efficient appliances arrived and were installed in the center’s learning kitchen. Again, this exciting feature of the new Center is designed to educate the community about nutrition and culinary education and includes relevant job skills training. The 3,000-square-feet of kitchen and dining space will have an intentional design for culinary demonstrations, hands-on learning experiences, and special event entertaining space. Additionally, it will include stations for cooking instruction and student prep area to promote culinary and nutritional education programming, including access to the community garden.
We look forward to sharing more information about this program, other services we will offer, and progress on construction as the building nears completion.
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.
Celebrating the Launch of the Center
SOS Illinois is looking forward to celebrating the launch of the Roosevelt Square Community Center, a first-of-its-kind facility in Chicago, this October. Yet, we are most mindful of issues of safety and everyone’s well-being. Thus, out of an abundance of caution, we will wait until it is safe for all of us to gather for a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the Center. Learn more about our plans to share a virtual tour of the building here.
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 Complete – February 2020
Structure Enclosed – June 2020
Occupancy of Center – October 2020
Construction Complete – End of October 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.