PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi

From the Executive Director:

PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi
Erin Lavin Cabonargi

As Executive Director of the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC), I know first-hand the cooperative efforts required to develop our community facilities and infrastructure. For the PBC, this means a solid partnership with our clients, strong leadership from the PBC Chairman and Board of Commissioners, unfailing support from city service departments, and the tremendous investment and guidance from the community groups and citizens of the City of Chicago. Because of this support, we have a proven track record of completing projects on schedule and within budget. Our processes continually evolve and improve so that we may be exemplary developers and stewards of the public fund. I am excited to say, that in my tenure as Executive Director over the past five years, success has grown at the PBC as we seek to offer new program services, report exceptional cost performance and continue to bolster the important social benefits derived from the public development process.

For more than fifty years, the PBC has served as the development agent for schools, libraries, parks, police stations, fire houses, city colleges, and other public facilities for the City of Chicago and Cook County at large. The PBC continues this tradition of excellence working in partnership with our clients to plan, design and construct new and renovated public facilities that form cornerstones throughout our communities.

The PBC development process is one that is transparent and responsible in the stewardship of public funds. As a public developer, the PBC tracks project delivery with an eye toward continuous improvement and methods to build on our success. March of 2013 marks my fifth year as Executive Director of the PBC and I have some great results to share with you. Since 2008, the PBC has completed 80 capital construction projects, representing over three million square feet of new facilities in addition to numerous renovation and infrastructure projects. With over $1.7 billion in project development authority over the last five years, the PBC delivered these projects on time for a savings of approximately $152 million, or 8.87% under the approved undertaking budgets.

Our accomplishments reflect a strong project delivery approach in addition to comprehensive economic sustainability and environmental sustainability programs. These programs are integrated into every project we build and we are proud of the programs we have created and our continued positive results.

At the PBC, we are keenly aware of the economic impact our projects have on surrounding communities and we take specific steps to ensure that the process of bringing a new facility to Chicago also creates economic opportunities for local residents and businesses and contributes to the overall economic sustainability of our City and County. We accomplish this through a variety of contract provisions and incentives including: residency requirements, community hiring requirements, and participation goals for minority- and women-owned businesses and work force. We also offer bid incentives for apprentice utilization and set minimum standards for local business participation. These efforts are supplemented by outreach events designed to raise awareness of PBC project opportunities. The result is minority-owned business participation of 32.92% and women-owned business participation of 5.76% for the 80 completed construction contracts over the past five years.

For years, our Board, chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has advocated for environmental sustainability. Because of their leadership and commitment to the environment, elements of environmentally sustainable design are included in the projects we develop. These measures are not only good for the environment, but they also lower life-cycle and utility costs for each facility that we build. PBC projects include durable and recycled materials, green roofs, stormwater management, and recycling of construction waste. To date, PBC has achieved certification on 51 facilities. As a result, the City of Chicago has 69 municipally-owned, LEED-certified buildings, a number far exceeding any other city in the nation.

The PBC has a unique role in building essential projects that impact our surrounding areas and create ripples of economic activity and community revitalization. We expect 2013 to continue the same track record of exemplary cost and schedule performance and community benefits that only public projects can deliver.

Thank you for visiting our website. I hope you take time to navigate and discover all of the wonderful projects detailed here.

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