Enthusiasm and anticipation surrounded today’s groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of the new Taylor-Lauridsen Park and Fieldhouse in Chicago’s Canaryville community.
The ceremony attracted Cook County Commissioner John P. Daley, State Representative Esther Golar and Alderman James Balcer, as well as officials of the Public Building Commission of Chicago and the Chicago Park District. The PBC will oversee construction of the new facility, which is expected to open in the spring of 2009.
“Today we mark the beginning of construction on the new Taylor-Lauridsen Fieldhouse, and the PBC is pleased and proud to be involved in bringing this new resource to the community,” said Erin Lavin Cabonargi, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission. “As an organization, we are committed to bringing the best possible facilities to every part of the City of Chicago, and over the next several months we will carry that mission out here.”
With a total project cost of $9.8 million, the new fieldhouse will replace a smaller, existing structure, which will be demolished when the new building is complete.
“This is a community where both children and adults live healthy, active lives, and this new fieldhouse will give residents a wonderful setting where they can pursue those interests to the fullest,” said Alderman Balcer. “Our wait for a new facility has been long, but it’s coming to end, and I could not be happier.”
County Commissioner Daley agreed.
“Since this 1920s, this space where we stand today has been a gathering spot for the community,” Commissioner Daley said. “The old Taylor-Lauridsen Playground Park has hosted ball games and family picnics, and has witnessed countless special moments for our residents. With the long awaited arrival of this new fieldhouse, this park will be improved, the opportunities will be expanded, and those special moments will continue for decades to come.”
The fieldhouse is designed to offer more than 18,000 square feet of space, including a competition size gymnasium, a fitness center and multi-purpose room. Parking spaces are planned for the Canaryville location as well.
Also incorporated into the design are various sustainable design elements which will allow the finished building to be certified as a “Green” building under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
The architect of record on the project is Booth Hansen of Chicago, and the general contractor is Burling Builders, also of Chicago.
The PBC manages construction and renovation projects for the Chicago Public Library as well as the City of Chicago and its other sister agencies. Mayor Richard M. Daley serves as the PBC’s chairman. Additional information about the PBC and its projects is available at the agency’s Web site: www.pbcchicago.com.