Mayor Emanuel Plans 2.5 Billion in Improvements to Local Universities; 10,000 Jobs Created
Larissa M. Tyler | 12/23/2015, 10:35 a.m.
If you live in Chicago, and are looking for construction work, your luck may be about to change. Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced that over 10,000 construction jobs will become available in the city over the next three years.
The mayor has been working with local universities including, DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University, Northwestern University,
Rush University, School of the Art Institute, University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) and University of Chicago (U of C) where collectively, they have agreed to more than $2.5 billion in planned capital improvement projects. Some $230 million in projects are currently underway according to city officials.
“One of Chicago’s greatest strengths is our world-class universities,” Mayor Emanuel said. “They provide pathways to great careers for their students and with the help of these agreements will become even stronger engines of opportunity for our neighborhoods.”
The mayor’s announcement brings about the good news of an abundance of job creation in many of Chicago’s neighborhoods like Hyde Park, Bronzeville and Rogers Park.
So how does this all work?
According to city officials, each university has signed a memorandum of understanding in which the schools outlined their anticipated private investments in local neighborhoods and the city reinforced its commitment to supporting the projects through timely review and approval of building permits and public infrastructure investments.
Ranging from new research facilities to new dormitories to rehabilitated mixed-use structures, the projects will reinforce the schools’ roles as neighborhood anchors, through job creation, local purchasing, public safety, cultural resources, beautification, affordable housing, and related forms of civic engagement.
Collectively, the schools represent more than 118,000 undergraduate and graduate students and employ more than 60,000 faculty and staff.
Here is a breakdown of the improvements for each school:
(Not all universities in Chicago are participating in the improvement project including Chicago State University and Columbia College-Chicago. Calls to the City of Chicago as to how schools were selected were not answered by Chicago Citizen newspaper press time.)
DePaul’s agreement anticipates $230 million in new capital investments, including new music and science facilities in Lincoln Park and a new 10,000-seat events center currently under construction on the Near South Side. DePaul will also continue a variety of public school partnership agreements with CPS.
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
IIT’s $100 million improvement plan in Bronzeville includes a new Kaplan Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, the reutilization of the Main Building for rental housing, and renovated residence halls. IIT will also continue its summer programs for Chicago Public Schools students and partnerships with Community Colleges of Chicago.
Loyola anticipates $169 million in planned improvements at its Rogers Park and Water Tower campuses, including a new hotel near the Loyola CTA station, a new athletic training facility, and the establishment of a new junior college.
Northwestern’s $455 million in planned improvements are centered around a new Simpson-Querrey Institute Biomedical Research Center and renovations to the Abbott Building, both on its Streeterville campus. The school will also maintain and enhance its partnerships with CPS and CCC.