Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers (29th) and the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) broke ground Tuesday on a new $11.5 million Austin District 15 police station.
Carothers was joined at the ground-breaking ceremony by Kevin Gujral, PBC interim executive director, District 15 Police Commander Eugene Williams and local community members. Construction is under way at Madison and Menard on the replacement for an 84-year-old station now used by 15th District police, officials said. Construction is being carried out by UBM Inc., which has committed to a 25 percent level of participation by Minority Business Enterprises and 5 percent participation by Women Business Enterprises, officials said.
The new station will feature state-of-the-art computers, a fitness room, expanded locker facilities for male and female officers and a large multi-purpose room, as well as space for community policing programs. The project will be built on both sides of Madison Street between Parkside and Menard avenues, officials said. The station itself will be on the south side of the street, with parking lots on either end and on the north side of Madison extending past Menard toward Mayfield Avenue.
When the project is completed, officers will work out of a station more than twice the size of the existing 15th District facility, at 5327 West Chicago Avenue, which was built in 1918 and is the third-oldest police district building in Chicago.
The PBC, chaired by Mayor Richard Daley, has built five new district station in the last four years under the mayor’s Neighborhoods Alive 21 program. In all, 19 police stations will be replaced or renovated under this ambitious program, officials said.