As a continuation of the nearly 20-year partnership FGM Architects and ICI has shared with Cicero School District 99, the project team was asked to design and construct a new Transportation Facility for the District’s fleet of nearly 80 buses. The new facility consolidates two former dilapidated, remote bus storage and parking areas into one secure, sheltered location.
The south half of new Transportation Center building houses two maintenance bays, one vehicle wash bay, a parts and tools storage area as well as office space for the maintenance staff. The north half of the building houses offices for the Transportation Director, the Director of Safety and Training, as well as an administrative area for dispatch and
support. A large training room complete with seating for 100, two wide-screen TVs and a projector system are also housed within the north half of the building. The space is used for driver safety training and can also serve as a meeting location for assorted district needs. Men’s and women’s locker rooms as well as storage lockers are also provided to staff.
The architectural character of the new Transportation Center reflects the District’s commitment to pragmatic, durable and low maintenance design and material selections. The exterior of the building is comprised of simple detailing and a brick close in color to the adjacent District 99 school, Unity Junior High. Interior materials reflect the utilitarian function of the building, yet maintain a pleasant atmosphere through the use of natural daylighting and simple, suitable design. There are two canopies for bus storage within the property boundary; one placed on the east side of the building and one to the west. The canopies provide a total of 80 well-lit, secure spaces for the buses to be stored overnight or while warming up in the morning prior to leaving for routes.
The selected site for the Transportation Center was initially developed in the early 1910s. Records indicated that the site and the building occupying the site were used for industrial purposes from approximately 1910 to present day. Given the history of parcel and the potential for contamination, the design and construction team and a third party testing agency developed a three phase plan in order to prepare the site for District usage.
Phase I of the project consisted of an extensive planning effort, evaluating cost implications and site options. Phase II was the demolition of the building and slab and the removal of the contaminated soils. Phase III was the construction of the service garage, the bus canopies and the parking lot.
Due to the extensive upfront planning effort of the design and construction team, construction of Phase III progressed efficiently and only took approximately 7 months.
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