Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman today to restart construction on the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Center at Olive-Harvey College, eight months after the State of Illinois shuttered the site as part of the ongoing state budget impasse. The facility, a first-of-its-kind in Illinois that will prepare students for the more than 110,000 TDL jobs coming to the region over the next decade, will open more than a year and a half late and cost at least an additional $4 million due to the work stoppage. In taking over the project from the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB), City Colleges is committing to completing the project in time for its Fall 2017 semester.
“We could have already had students learning in a state-of-the-art facility and working to gain skills they need to gain in-demand jobs if it weren’t for the state’s budget stalemate,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We as a city can no longer wait for the state to resolve its issues, and so we will move ahead to ensure that our students receive the quality education that will prepare them for thousands of jobs coming to the region and for access to the middle class.”
The 103,000 square foot Olive-Harvey facility, which will serve 3,000 students, has been designed with input from City Colleges’ College to Careers faculty and industry partners. Through College to Careers, launched by Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman in 2011, City Colleges faculty and staff partner with industry leaders to design curriculum and facilities and offer internships and job opportunities to ensure Chicagoans are ready to hit the ground running in fast-growing fields.
At 60 percent complete, the project will require an estimated $23 million to finish. That amount includes an estimated $4 million in new costs, resulting from damage to the facility from the work stoppage and the eight-month delay (i.e., all exposed outside insulation needs to be stripped and replaced). Twelve million dollars in new funds are needed, which will be paid for by shifting priorities in City Colleges’ capital plan, slowing down planned IT and maintenance projects.
“Because other planned capital improvements will be put on hold as we make up for the State’s financial obligation, this will come at a cost to the more than 100,000 students, faculty and staff across City Colleges of Chicago,” said Chancellor Hyman. “But we feel this is an absolutely essential project that will lead directly to jobs for Chicagoans so, unlike the State, we are making it a top priority.”
As it did with the $251 million Malcolm X College School of Health Sciences, completed on time and on budget in January, City Colleges will set community participation goals for the remainder of project as follows: MBE: 25%, WBE: 7%, and worker participation: 40% Chicago residents, 12% community residents, 30% minority trade workers, 7% female trade workers, and 5% City Colleges alumni/students.
UJAMAA, a minority-owned general contractor based on the South Side of Chicago, whose leadership includes an Olive-Harvey College graduate, resumed work on the project today, starting with site clean-up, cement work, and work on the building envelope and major systems. UJAMAA is one of City Colleges’ Board-approved Job Order Contractors, and will provide services until a general contractor is selected through a public bidding process. City Colleges will also issue an RFP for architectural and engineering services.
“This facility will be the premier training ground for Chicagoans interested in pursuing a vast and diverse array of careers in transportation, distribution and logistics,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman when ground was initially broken on the project in 2013. “With the assistance of our industry partners, we are working to make sure City Colleges students learn from experts using the most relevant technology in real-world scenarios so they are able to seize these opportunities.”
The facility will include automotive and diesel engine laboratories, an engine dynamometer, classrooms, simulated driving facilities, a testing center and vehicle bays, among other features. To give students hands-on training in the industry, the facility will also feature a high-tech central store warehouse environment that will act as a supply chain hub to efficiently provide office supplies to City Colleges’ seven campuses, six satellites and District Office. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Current TDL programs at City Colleges include logistics (warehousing and supply chain management), commercial driver training, forklift, automotive technology and public chauffeur courses (taxi and limousine). A new TDL pathway begins with an adult education bridge program and includes stackable basic and advanced certificates and an associate degree. The pathway, designed with input from College to Careers industry partners, allows students to return to the classroom to advance their education and career without credit loss, and articulates to bachelor degree programs.