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Mayor Richard M. Daley joined Chicago Police officials and community members for the ground breaking of the new 12th District Police Station, 1412 South Blue Island.
"I am very honored to be here to celebrate the ground breaking of another new police station in Chicago," said Mayor Daley. "Chicago is one of the few cities across the nation that continues to build new police stations, fire stations and libraries, which serve as important anchors in our communities."
The new 44,000 square foot police station is expected to open in the spring of 2012. It will offer many modern features, including a technologically advanced roll call room, secure viewing and lineup rooms, a "quiet room" for traumatic incident counseling and a physical fitness room for officers.
It will also have a community room to accommodate group functions, including CAPS meetings, as well as warming and cooling station capabilities for times of severe weather.
The new police station will feature green elements, including a green and reflective roof and landscaping that reduces the urban heat island effect. It will also have permeable paving, which allows rainwater to soak into the ground instead of draining into sewers, where it has to be treated as wastewater.
"I believe that government needs to lead by example. As Chicago has become a greener city, we have encouraged and required greener buildings, and this includes our own facilities," Daley said.
The 12th District Police Station, which will cost $41 million to build, is the 11th new police stations to be built by funding under Neighborhoods Alive program. By the end of the Neighborhoods Alive effort, the City will complete 19 total stations.
"Despite the current economic challenges, we continue to move the city forward and continue to invest in our communities," he said.
The ground breaking was another stop on the “Neighborhood Appreciation Tour” the Mayor is making in communities all over the city to thank Chicagoans for their collaboration in helping the City move forward.
“The residents of this community have played an important role in creating a bright future Chicago. I thank them for their hard work and dedication," he said.
The new police station is just the latest in a long list of projects, including several key public safety facilities, to the 2nd Ward and the communities it encompasses:
One key addition is the facility that houses the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Opened in 1995, this state-of-the-art facility coordinates the City's response to all emergencies.
Additionally, the city recently renovated the Fire Academy Training Center and built the new Engine Company 18 firehouse, which opened in 2008.
Other key changes and additions to the ward include:
- The creation of the Museum Campus, which relocated the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive to the west of Soldier Field to create the 57-acre Museum Campus that residents and tourists enjoy every weekend.
- The renovation of Soldier Field, which kept the Chicago Bears playing on Chicago's lakefront.
- The transformation of Northerly Island to a new park, with plans to continue its development.
- The reconfiguration of the Clark Street and Roosevelt Road intersection, along with the rebuilding of the Roosevelt Road Bridge, which helped draw residences and retail and commercial space to the South Loop.
- The building of a new bridge over the Metra railroad tracks in Grant Park and a new underpass beneath Columbus, which provides a direct connection from Grant Park to the Museum Campus
- The creation of the Roosevelt Square Community, which is replacing the ABLA Homes with 2,441 units of rental and for-sale housing.
- The relocation of the Maxwell Street Market, to provide hundreds of vendors and thousands of patrons with an improved location for this historic market.
- The renovation of Harold Washington Library, which is the crown jewel of the City's library system and will also celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.
- The renovation of Mercy Hospital and Rush Medical Center through TIF Funds to continue to provide health care in our communities.
- Infrastructure improvements for new buildings, such as the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
- The replacement of the ABLA Homes with the new Roosevelt Square Community. This process started in 2004, and when it is completed, Roosevelt Square will consist of 2,441 units of rental and for-sale housing.
- Improvements or renovations have been carried at 28 schools, and new schools have been built for the Chicago Military Academy and Noble Street Charter School.
- The updating of the Fire Training Academey.
- The creation and renovation of the Office of Emergency Management and Communication facility in the West Loop.
- The Chicago Park District has completed a dozen separate improvement projects at five parks including: Burnham Park/Museum Campus, Fosco, Touhy Herbert, Cottontail and Northerly Island.
- The City's Department of Transportation has marked almost 14.4 miles of new bike routes in the ward.
- The CTA reopened an auxiliary entrance at Polk Street at the Harrison Red Line station in 2008, which was closed in June 1968.
- The installation of 68 green roofs on public and private buildings.
“So I’m here today to thank every resident, every community organization, every business, every not-for-profit for their advice, support and cooperation on all these projects,” Daley said.
“Thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time. That’s what our system of government is based on – the people.
“It’s been a joy and an honor to be your Mayor,” he said.
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