PBC Awards Construction Contract for Renovation of HWCL

Bryant Payne, Public Building Commission, (312) 742-0878

The Board of Commissioners for Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) and Chicago Public Library (CPL) announced Path Construction Company Inc. has been awarded a contract for the renovation project on CPL’s Thomas Hughes Children’s Library at the Harold Washington Library Center, located at 400 S. State Street.

On behalf of CPL, the PBC is beginning a project that will demolish and build-out a new 18,000 square foot children’s library on the building’s second floor, upgrade the information technology infrastructure and feature a significant portion of furniture, fixture and equipment procurement and installation. This is part of a $2.5 million grant from Exelon Corporation, the largest single gift ever made to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, to fund this project at the Harold Washington Library Center, as well as 14 satellite neighborhood early learning spaces. This investment supports joint goals of the Library and the City of Chicago to provide access to quality early educational programming year round.

The innovative early learning spaces will incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the five practices of early learning that play a critical role in children’s social and cognitive development – Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play — into the space itself. The children’s space at Harold Washington Library Center will serve as the Library’s flagship early learning center, much like the existing YOUmedia for teens and Maker Lab for advanced manufacturing.

“We are giving every child the support they need in their early years to ensure their success in college, career, and in life,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “The renovation at Harold Washington Library will provide a space that supports the primary building blocks of a child’s education.”

“With the appointment of Path Construction, we anticipate that we will deliver another highly successful project that will provide additional resources to our earliest learners,” Felicia Davis, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission said.

Path Construction Company, Inc was deemed the lowest responsive, responsible bidder and demonstrated the ability to execute the services for this project. This is the first time Path Construction has served as a general contractor for the PBC.

“The PBC staff conducted a pre-award meeting with Path Construction to conduct a scope and logistics review to ensure Path understands the project with supporting expectations,” Davis said.

“This innovative children’s library will reimagine library spaces as places of STEM learning and play, in addition to reading,” Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon said. “This space will help nurture learning for our youngest patrons.”

Gensler Architects, a Chicago-based architectural design firm, is the architect of record for the project and will work with the PBC to design and create a welcoming, flexible space that provide access to library services. The PBC anticipates a substantial completion date in April 2017.

Other items approved by the PBC’s Board of Commissioners include the administration of oath to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Samuel William Sax as Commissioners of the Public Building Commission of Chicago for terms ending September 30, 2021.


About Chicago Public Library: Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; was named the first ever winner of the National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award in recognition of its Summer Learning Challenge; and was ranked number one in the U.S., and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit chipublib.org.

About the Public Building Commission: 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. Felicia S. Davis serves as the Executive Director of the PBC. Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at www.pbcchicago.com. You can also follow the Public Building Commission of Chicago on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Flickr.