The grand opening of Millennium Park highlighted a busy year for the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC), which also in 2004 unveiled an environmentally-friendly police station, three new schools and a new library along with other capital construction projects.
Millennium Park was introduced to the world with a three-day festival in July. Located on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets, the 24.5 acre park has transformed unsightly railroad tracks and parking lots into a world-class center for art, music, architecture and landscape design.
In June, the Morgan Park (22nd District) Police Station opened its doors at 1900 W. Monterey Avenue, bringing state-of-the-art crime fighting technology and a new community anchor to Chicago’s southwest side. Designed with systems that reduce energy consumption and conserve water, the facility aims to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver-rated police station in Chicago under U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) standards.
Also in June, Mayor Richard M. Daley cut the ribbon on the Oriole Park Branch Library at 7454 W. Balmoral Avenue. The library, which features children and adult reading rooms, a reading garden and a spacious community room, is rated “LEED certified” by the USGBC.
In September, the new North-Grand High School opened at 4338 W. Wabansia Avenue with 1,000 new classroom seats to relieve overcrowding in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The PBC also built two other schools that opened last fall: Claremont Academy at 2300 W. 64th Street and Oscar DePriest Elementary School at 139 S. Parkside Street.
The PBC also completed construction of the Hayes Park Natatorium and Fitness Center at 2936 W. 85th Street. Three new Senior Satellite Centers were also opened: Austin (5071 W. Congress Parkway), Portage Park (4100 N. Long Avenue) and Abbot Park (49 E. 95th Street).
Last month, the PBC finished the new operations center at the City’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Featuring the latest in communication technology, the facility is the central command post to manage and coordinate the efforts of City departments during major events and local emergencies.
The Year Ahead
In 2005, the PBC will manage a variety of construction projects aimed at improving the quality of life in Chicago’s neighborhoods as well as enhancing the City’s reputation as a world-class destination.
Public safety-related projects expected to open in 2005 include four new police stations, 8th District at 3420 W. 63rd Street, 10th District at 3250 W. Ogden Avenue, 15th District at 5701 W. Madison Avenue and 17th District at Pulaski and Leland; and two new fire stations; Engine Company 38 at 3949 W. 16th Street and Engine Company 88 at 3600 W. 59th Street.
In partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, the PBC is building Little Village High School at 3126 S. Kostner, Haugan Middle School at 3729. W. Leland, Tarkington Elementary School at 3330 W. 71st Street, and Edward K. “Duke” Ellington Elementary School at 243 N. Parkside Street.
The agency will also continue to support Mayor Daley’s efforts to improve and expand Chicago’s library system. Construction is underway for the following new facilities: West Pullman Branch Library at 830 W 119th Street, Avalon Branch at 82nd Street and Stony Island Avenue, Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch at 1701 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Square Branch at 3030 W. Fullerton Avenue and Vodak East Side Branch at 3710 E. 106th Street. Toman Branch Library at 2708 S. Pulaski Avenue is receiving a building addition.
The PBC also looks forward to the opening of the FOSCO Community Center at 1312 S. Racine. The multi-purpose facility will provide recreational and day care services for the ABLA Homes-Fosco Park area community.
Also in the spring of 2005, the PBC will break ground on the new Kennedy King College campu