Construction on Obama Presidential Center in Chicago takes a collaborative effort


CHICAGO (CBS) — Drive by the location of the Obama Presidential Center and it is honest to say that it isn’t precisely wanting presidential proper now.

Crews are virtually a yr into building however not a lot may be seen from the road.

That’s as a result of quite a lot of concrete work is occurring underground first.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us behind the development gates for a novel story of teamwork.

“This is really an amazing job site,” stated Stephanie Hickman, strolling with CBS 2 alongside the perimeter of what is going to develop into the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

Hickman, CEO of Trice Construction, by no means imagined her concrete firm would depart its mark right here.

“There was a point that I said, ‘Boy, if we could just get one square of sidewalk on this project, I could be able to say we were on it,’” she stated. Her “wildest dream” got here true with the chance to offer structural concrete on the construct.

By the time the parking storage, museum, discussion board and library are carried out, an estimated 5,250 truckloads of cement can be have been poured.

“We knew this wasn’t something we could do alone,” stated Hickman who joined forces with Bob McGee from II in One Contractors. They’re normally opponents as two Black enterprise homeowners within the concrete trade. Many occasions, greater corporations rent their crews as subcontractors to meet a minority-owned enterprise requirement.

“Just deep in our spirit, we believe God made this for us to be a part of,” stated McGee who defined the undertaking was heavenly despatched as a result of, even collectively, II in One and Trice would not have gotten a crack at this concrete work. They wanted to determine get sufficient capital, gear and assets.

“We had the skillset to participate but not bring the whole package. Not in terms of the number of people in our organization and the full expertise to execute this at the level of quality that this project demands,” defined McGee.

Adding a 3rd, greater firm W.E. O’Neil to the combo helped seal the bid. Their numerous and strange trifecta known as Concrete Collective.

“I think each of the companies brings their own value to the equation and we’re able to look at things from multiple perspectives,” stated John Russell, president of the Chicago workplace for W.E. O’Neil Construction.

Trice and II in One could also be smaller gamers however they are not within the backseat as subcontractors this time. Everyone is a call maker at Concrete Collective.

“They equally take part in profit and loss and overall management of the project,” stated Junisa Brima, a building govt for Lakeside Alliance, builder of the Obama Presidential Center. Lakeside Alliance is one other instance of a three way partnership on the undertaking (between Brown & Momen, Powers & Sons Construction, Safeway Construction and UJAMAA Construction). All 4 are Black-owned building corporations.

“It’s really a model whose time has come,” stated Hickman who can also be pleased with her affect as feminine chief within the building world. With concrete work anticipated to final into 2024, Hickman says Trice can be searching for assist and she or he hopes to deliver increasingly more ladies onboard as companions.

So what else is occurring with building? Excavation completed in May. Walls are beginning to be fashioned and through CBS 2’s go to, elevator cores have been being poured. 

We’re informed you’ll be able to count on to see some Obama Center buildings peeking above floor earlier than the top the yr. You can monitor building updates right here: obama.org/the-center/construction/.



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