KANKAKEE – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by state and local officials to break ground on a new Army Aviation Support Facility and Readiness Center in Kankakee. The joint federal-state funded $53.3 million project will be used to build a much-needed military facility while creating jobs in the Kankakee area. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to improve public safety, create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“A new aviation maintenance facility in Kankakee will help ensure our military has the equipment they need to protect our country.” Governor Quinn said. “The project will also provide a major economic boost to the area that will last for years to come. Not only will our Illinois National Guard benefit from the work that will take place here in Kankakee, but this federal partnership will also provide good paying jobs for local citizens.”
“Governor Quinn continues to demonstrate his commitment to economic development in the Second Congressional District,” Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Matteson) said. “With its already existing airport, Kankakee is a perfect location for an Army Aviation Support Center. In addition to creating hundreds of construction and permanent jobs, the readiness center will support our military and serve as a point of pride for the Kankakee area.”
The 185,200 square-foot, two-story readiness center/aviation support facility will include a helicopter maintenance hangar, storage hangar, classrooms, fuel distribution system and fire suppression systems. The building is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, a testament to its environmentally friendly design. Construction will begin by late summer with completion in early 2016. The construction project was administered by the Capital Development Board, which oversees all non-road state-funded construction projects.
"Aside from our men and women, our helicopters are one of our most critical assets when called to help our neighbors, protect our state and defend our nation," Daniel Krumrei, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard said. "Once completed, this facility will serve as a modern platform upon which we will maintain our helicopters and train our aviators and aviation support staff."
The federal government is contributing $42.1 million toward construction, with $11.2 million coming from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program. George Sollitt Construction Company of Chicago was the lowest of five bidders for the project at $53,325,992.
“Investing in military infrastructure is crucial for our continued safety and peace of mind,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “And through the permanent employment provided by a new military support facility in Kankakee and the construction jobs created by this project, we are not only providing lasting support for Army aviation, but our local economy and families as well.”
The Kankakee Army Aviation Support Facility and Readiness Center project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.