SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $28.7 million in new capital projects for the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). The funds are for construction work to be done at ten state‑operated facilities serving persons with mental illness and developmental disabilities. The projects involve making improvements and repairs to both the buildings and their systems.
“Our state-operated facilities are important resources, serving thousands of Illinoisans,” said Governor Blagojevich. “These capital projects continue our commitment to maintaining and upgrading the human services infrastructure to ensure a safe working environment for the residents and staff of those centers.”
The projects include $6.4 million to replace the aging steam and condensate system that provides heat and air conditioning to 36 buildings at Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee. The repairs will make the system more energy efficient. The budget also includes $1.3 million to repair roofs at 5 residential buildings at Shapiro, which serves nearly 700 persons with developmental disabilities. There is $4 million for renovation of the more than 100-year-old tunnel system at the Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center. The extensive tunnel system connects the steam heating lines serving 55 buildings on the Choate campus. The project, which includes asbestos removal, will be done in phases and should be completed within a year. Choate serves 275 residents. At the Howe Developmental Center in Tinley Park, there is $3.8 million for renovation of 11 homes for persons with developmental disabilities. Howe serves 425 residents.