SPRINGFIELD, IL (10/30/2014)(readMedia)– KANKAKEE, Ill. – The Illinois National Guard held a groundbreaking ceremony for a $53.3 million Army Aviation Support Facility and Readiness Center in Kankakee on October 29.
Brig. Gen. Richard Hayes of Chatham, Illinois, Illinois National Guard Deputy Adjutant General, joined Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and state and local officials at the ground breaking ceremony for the joint federal-state funded project, which is expected to create construction and permanent jobs in the Kankakee area.
“This new major facility will help keep our military’s helicopters and aviators in top fighting condition,” said Quinn. “Kankakee has always been supportive of our service men and women and we are supporting the community with this project by bringing hundreds of construction jobs to the area.”
An estimated 70 full-time jobs are projected to be created.
The two-story, 185,200 square foot facility located at Greater Kankakee Airport will include a helicopter maintenance hangar, storage hangar, classrooms, fuel distribution system and fire suppression systems. The hangar space will be designed for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, a weapon simulator training space and a task-load combat simulated flight environment.
“Investing in military infrastructure is crucial for our continued safety and peace of mind,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “And through the permanent employment provided by a new military support facility in Kankakee and the construction jobs created by this project, we are not only providing lasting support for Army aviation, but our local economy and families as well.”
The new facility will house three companies and their equipment. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2016.