U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and the Illinois National Guard broke ground Tuesday on a $13.4 million 24,000-square-foot Base Civil Engineer Complex at the 183rd Wing on Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.
The two-building complex will allow the 183rd Wing’s approximately 70 Airmen in its Civil Engineer Squadron to train together in a modern facility equipped to house modern equipment. Currently the squadron is scattered across seven buildings on opposite ends of the base, three of which do not comply with federal anti-terrorism and force protection standards, two of which are over 50 years old and not designed for military civil engineering functions, and all seven of which have high operating and maintenance costs and are not energy efficient.
“Investing in our national security and supporting our dedicated servicemen and women is not just a responsibility, but a duty we owe to our great state and nation,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “This $10.2 million in federal funding I secured for the new Illinois National Guard complex is a testament to our unwavering commitment to provide our guardsmen with the resources they need to continue executing their missions and maintain readiness for new missions in the future.”
“We are grateful to our Congressional delegation for their assistance in moving this important project forward,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard. “Not only will this help in our training, but I believe this modern facility will also help our recruiting and retention efforts.”
With Senator Durbin securing the majority of funds for the project through Congressionally Directed Spending—more commonly known as an earmark—in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Omnibus appropriations bill, the balance of the cost for the project will be drawn from other available federal funds. The project is slated to take two years to complete.
Springfield Mayor Misty Buscher and Airport Director Mark Hanna joined Durbin and Neely, along with the Assistant Adjutant General – Air and Commander of the Illinois Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Dan McDonough, and 183rd Wing Commander Col. Robert Gellner. Representatives from U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth’s office and the of U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski were also present along with Sergio Pecori, the Chief Executive Officer of Hanson Professional Services, which designed the project and Jason Litteken, the President of Litteken Construction, the general contractor for the project.