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March 5, 2012


Greetings ~


Signs of spring's impending arrival are hard to escape these days with the warmer temperatures, more daylight hours and the Cardinals back in action and preparing for opening day (welcome back, Yadi). The SIUE Cougar softball team also has been busy swinging their bats in preparation for their season, but they're doing it at a brand new facility that was recently completed at the "big E." That's just one of the exciting projects in the news over the past two weeks. Keep reading to get a quick recap of the others, including the latest on the potentially game-changing development proposed for MidAmerica Airport.


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Firm completes indoor softball facility at SIUE (The Alton Telegraph, 2/19/2012)

Cougars Softball PicLeadership Council member Holland Construction Services, Inc., recently completed a new indoor softball facility at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). The Alton Telegraph reports that the $820,000 facility consists of 11,664 square feet of full synthetic turf infield, two batting cages, pitching areas, suspended nets and three practice mounds. The new structure is expected to enhance SIUE's recruiting efforts and allow the team to be more competitive at the NCAA Division I level. Council member Oates Associates of Collinsville was the architectural firm for the project. The SIUE Cougars softball team began using the new facility on Jan. 8. Read more here.   


Illinois green lights new hospital in Highland (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/1/2012)

With recent approval from state authorities, St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland, Ill., can now replace its current, aging facility and begin construction on a new hospital, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Representing a total investment of $60 million, the hospital will be built on approximately 60 acres of land in northeast Highland. It will include 25 beds, an emergency room, a surgery center and outpatient facilities. The Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board approved the project on Tuesday, paving the way for a scheduled opening in the summer of 2013. Read more here.



Research center road to be extended (The Alton Telegraph, 2/20/2012)

The Lewis & Clark LogoLewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) Board of Trustees recently approved plans for a new phase of road construction at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Field Station (NGRREC). The Phase Two construction will extend the existing roadway in order to provide access to a boat ramp and additional parking. The Alton Telegraph reports that these improvements are critical to the long-term river monitoring of the NGRREC and will also add a new access point below the dam for aquatic researchers. IDOT will fund 80 percent of the estimated $1.2 million project. Madison County and LCCC bond money will fund the remaining 20 percent. The Phase Two project will also create additional office and lab space, mesocosms with accompanying river pump station, and wind and hydraulic turbines. Read more here.



St. Clair County board gives blessing to bonds for airport project (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2/25/2012)

BLV Logo

 According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other recent news reports, St. Clair County board members have approved the potential issuance of more than a half-billion dollars in conduit bonds for a development project at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah. The tax-free, conduit bonds would support Chesterfield-based Strategic Air Cargo, Inc.'s proposed plans, which include the building of a 90,000-square-foot hanger, a 300,000-square-foot-warehouse and a 12,000-square-foot office building that will house Strategic Air Cargo's operations. The plan also includes the purchase of four 747 passenger aircrafts that would be converted to cargo planes. Strategic Air Cargo would sell the bonds to fund the project, which, if completed, would significantly stimulate commerce at Mid-America Airport and directly employ approximately 15 people, with pilots and crew working on a contractual basis. Read more here

Additional details of the project can also be found in related coverage by the Belleville News-Democrat in this article.


CVS to open new store in Wood River next weekend (The Alton Telegraph, 2/19/2012) 
The Alton Telegraph reports that a new CVS pharmacy and drugstore opened on Sunday, February 26 at 1 West Edwardsville Rd. in Wood River. Fred Ufert, mayor of Wood River, said the community is pleased with the new store as it has made a significant improvement to the area. The new CVS is approximately 12,870 square feet and features a drive-through pharmacy. The store will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Read more here.


Lindenwood buys motel on West Main; will turn it into student dorms (Belleville News-Democrat, 2/25/2012)

Lindenwood UThe Belleville News-Democrat reports that Lindenwood Belleville recently purchased the EconoLodge motel at 2120 W. Main St. and plans to transform the building into dormitories. The school also plans to build two new dormitories that will house up to 400 students in the next two to three years, according to University President James Evans. The motel purchase will provide immediate housing as the school plans to welcome several dozen young men for its new football team this fall. Recent renovations to the 77-room motel include a new roof and heating and air conditioning systems. The motel comes fully furnished and also includes two efficiency apartments, three handicapped-accessible rooms, a meeting room and additional parking for students. Read more here.


SIUE awards $9.7 million in engineering building construction contracts (St. Louis Business Journal, 2/2/12)

SIUE Engineering Building
Rendering courtesy of SIUE.

The St. Louis Business Journal is reporting that Southern Illinois University's Board of Trustees awarded more than $9.7 million in contracts to four Illinois companies and two Missouri companies for the expansion and renovation of the Engineering Building on the SIU Edwardsville campus. The project, which includes renovation of the existing engineering building and a new 32,000-square-foot addition, will begin this spring and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2013. The new facility will house offices, classrooms and teaching and research space for SIUE's more than 1,200 engineering  students. Read more here.


In Other News . . .


Several Leadership Council Members recently shared their views on the state of commercial development in the Metro East. Read what Terry Johnson of Johnson Properties, Mark Hinrichs of Impact Strategies, Darwin Miles of Miles Properties and Bruce Holland of Holland Construction Services had to say, here.


Contact Information

Scott Schanuel

 Interim Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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