The Case-Halstead Library Board held a grand opening ceremony for its new library on Aug. 16. The new library replaces the existing facility, which was located in a home on the same site that had been donated to the city in 1938. Poettker Construction Co. was the construction manager and Arcturis was the architect for the project.
“It was a very congested site as we were building the new facility right next to the existing library,” Cory Pritchard, project manager, said. “Our first task was to demolish one wing of the existing library and close it in so we could build just 15 feet away. It was a challenging site in terms of mobilizing contractor crews and equipment while keeping the existing library operational the entire time.”
The library board tasked Poettker and Arcturis with making the building as energy efficient and maintenance free as possible throughout design. Therefore, in order to reduce energy bills and operational spending the facility is comprised of a spray cellulose exterior insulation within the cavity space of the exterior wall, an energy efficient HVAC system and glass tinting that helps reflect sunlight. The $3.8 million project was made possible through a State of Illinois Public Library Construction Act Grant and a donation by the Floral Ethel Maddox Trust.
The main lobby features a fireplace with furniture situated around it for visitors to sit down and read a book. Other features of the library include space for a children’s and young adult area, community multi-purpose room, a conference room, a heritage room, offices and work areas for library staff, and two kitchenettes. The interior is comprised of cork flooring and lots of windows to provide natural lighting. Construction began last fall and was completed by the end of July despite the unusually harsh winter weather conditions this past year, said Pritchard.
With the Case-Halstead Library project complete, Poettker Construction continues progress as the construction manager on more than $40 million worth of new construction and renovations including the new Wingate Elementary School in Belleville and the new St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Ridgway, Ill., as well as the construction of the Amateur Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta.
New I-64 interchange will serve Scott, MidAmerica
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
SHILOH – A new interstate interchange that will provide more direct access to Scott Air Force Base and MidAmerica Airport is under way and should be completed by May 2017.
The $36.48 million project is sponsored by St. Clair County and is mostly funded by the state.
The work will take place along and around Rieder Road, a north-south road that now crosses by bridge over Interstate 64. Rieder is east of and parallel to Illinois Route 158, which is the current major access route to the air base.
“There is currently a bridge carrying Rieder Road over 64, but not ramps to 64. They will be putting in a new bridge with new ramps.” said Lora Rensing, acting local roads engineer for the Illinois Department of Transportation. The new bridge will be west of the current bridge and will offer a new alignment for Rieder.
The project will serve a plan by Scott AFB to open up access to the northeast side of the base, off Wherry Road. A gate now there gets less access than the main gate coming in from the west of the base, off Route 158, St. Clair County Engineer Jim Fields said.
Construction began this fall. IDOT figures it will take two full construction seasons.
“It’s pretty substantial. It’s a full (diamond) interchange. It will provide a new (northeastern) access point to Scott Air Force Base and open up access to the airport and other areas in that location,” Rensing said. “The main purpose is to provide access to Scott Air Force Base with Homeland Security, and being able to provide another access point to that side of the base is pretty critical.”
The new alignment will be a straighter shot into the base, less disruptive to surrounding residents.
“This way, they can get straight into the base within a mile of 1-64,” Rensing said.
The project has been in the talking stage for years.
Officials say the project also opens access to MidAmerica Airport and thousands of acres of developable land around it. St. Clair County owns much of the airport-related land south of I-64, and the land north of I-64 is held privately, Fields said.
The bid of $36.48 million was awarded to a joint venture of Killian Corp. and Keeley and Sons out of Mascoutah. The state of Illinois committed $40 million and St. Clair County $1.5 million, with some of that money already spent for such things as planning and right of way.
The St. Clair County Board has also agreed to commit $11 million in highway revenue bonds for a second phase project that would improve Rieder Road from I-64 north to U.S. Route 50. That project is not foreseen for at least a few years, Fields said.
The first phase under the joint venture includes work to be done to Rieder, Wherry Road, Shiloh Valley Township Road, Wherry Road Connector and Old Rieder Road Connector. Rieder is closed to all vehicles but local traffic from U.S. 50 to Wherry Road, a more than two-mile stretch.