Public Building Commission Celebrates a 2009 of Success With 15 Projects Completed

Kevin Smith, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

The Public Building Commission of Chicago celebrated the years end and the successful completion of 15 projects, including 13 new facilities and two renovations of existing facilities.

Included in those projects were the opening of both the new Beverly Branch Library and the new 7th District Police Station in the Englewood neighborhood in the spring.

The summer of 2009 marked the completion of the Bromann Park Playlot and the Bontemps School Campus Park. In addition, the new Jesse Owens Park Fieldhouse in the Calumet Heights neighborhood and the new Taylor-Lauridsen Park Fieldhouse in Canaryville were opened on behalf of the Chicago Park District. The summer also marked the opening of the new Norwood Park Satellite Senior Center on behalf of the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services.

The Public Building Commission delivered five new schools on the first day of class, September 8, 2009 on behalf of the Chicago Public Schools. These facilities include the new Westinghouse High School in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, the new Irene C. Hernandez Middle School for the Advancement of the Sciences in the Gage Park neighborhood, and three new elementary schools: Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, Mark T. Skinner West Elementary School in the Near West Side neighborhood and Langston Hughes Elementary School in the Roseland neighborhood.

The new Western Boulevard Vehicle Maintenance Facility was completed for the Department of Fleet Management in the fall of 2009 along with two CPS elementary school stairwell modifications. The new windows in the stairwells at both the Richard J. Daley Elementary School in New City and the Ella Flagg Young Elementary School in the Austin community bring much needed natural daylight into each school.

The Public Building Commission was able to achieve this volume of project development while also maintaining its commitment to both economic and environmental sustainability. All of the new buildings that were completed in 2009 targeted certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. In 2009, the PBC received notice that its 20th project had achieved LEED certification. The City of Chicago has more municipally-owned LEED-certified buildings than any other city in the nation.

Each project was also developed in concert with the PBC’s dedication to economic sustainability, which the PBC pursues through contract provisions that require minority- and women-owned business enterprise participation; that require community resident hiring; that require 50 percent of the labor force be residents of the City of Chicago; and that incentivizes the employment of apprentices and minority and female workers.

On the 15 construction projects that were completed in 2009, minority- and women-owned business enterprise participation exceeded 40 percent. Of the $243.3 million in construction costs for these projects, 33.82 percent, or $82.3 million, went to MBE firms, while 6.2 percent, or $15.1 million, went to WBE firms. During 2009, the PBC also bid and awarded 14 general contractor contracts valued at $167.4 million. The minority- and women-owned business enterprise commitment exceeded 33.5 percent for these 14 projects.

The PBC manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies. Mayor Richard M. Daley serves as the PBC’s chairman. Additional information about the PBC and its projects is available at the agency’s Web site: