Public Building Commission Board Approves Contract to Expand Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center

Center provides necessary services and support to children and families affected by abuse

Mimi Simon, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277
Julie O’Brien, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, (312) 492-3721

Yesterday, the Board of Commissioners of the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) approved a construction contract award for an 18,000-square-foot expansion of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC).

The facility is located at 1240 South Damen Avenue. The center is the hub for investigations of child sexual abuse in Chicago, housing specialized teams including the following public agencies: Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, Chicago Police Department, Cook County Health and Hospitals System and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“We are thrilled with today’s decision by the PBC board,” said ChicagoCAC Executive Director Char Rivette. “We are grateful for the support of Mayor Emanuel and other public officials whose commitment of TIF funding last October provided a solid resource base on which we are planning for this critical extension of our services for children and families affected by abuse.”

The expansion will double the center’s capacity to provide mental health services for children who are sexually abused, add dedicated space for hosting community trainings, improve the quality and number of child- and family-friendly areas for clients and ensure that the physical environment of the center is trauma-informed and conducive to collaboration among members of the center’s co-located, multi-disciplinary teams.

The PBC will manage the construction of the new addition on behalf of the City of Chicago, with work expected to be complete in December 2014.


“The work of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center is truly remarkable,” said PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi. “We are very pleased to facilitate the facility expansion so that ChicagoCAC can continue providing services to those in need.”

The new addition has been designed by Holabird & Root, incorporating elements of the original design developed by Stanley Tigerman, while also offering a fresh interpretation of the facility’s purpose as a collaborative, child-centered environment. Further, the expansion is expected to attain LEED Gold certification, based on green design and construction features.

To fully leverage the city’s investment, ChicagoCAC will publicly launch its Growing and Giving campaign to raise funds for furniture, fixtures, equipment and future programmatic growth at a groundbreaking ceremony (to be announced).

Founded by Mayor Daley in 1998, the center opened its current location in 2001. ChicagoCAC and its public partners are the front-line responders in Chicago to child sexual abuse reports, as well as physical abuse reports with life-threatening injuries for children under 3 years old. Learn more by visiting

The Public Building Commission of Chicago manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies. Mayor Rahm Emanuel serves as the PBC’s chairman. Erin Lavin Cabonargi serves as the Executive Director of the PBC. Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at You can also follow the Public Building Commission of Chicago on Twitter: @PBCChi and on Facebook: