Updated plans have been revealed for the community facility at 5112 W Harrison Street in Austin. Occupying a whole city block bound by S Leamington Avenue to the east and S Laramie Avenue to the west, the project is a massive expansion to BUILD Chicago’s existing center which focuses on gang intervention with local youth. The proposal recently broke ground and finally received approval for an additional floor to the addition which is being led by BUILD themselves with Landon Bone Baker Architects working on the design.
BUILD, or Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development, was established in 1969 in Humboldt Park and moved to a few locations since then before settling into the current Austin location in 2011. Since their inception they have focused on gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development, being the first outside agency to be invited into CPS in 1973. They achieved this through mentoring and classroom programs, community development, working inside of the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, career services, food education, and more.
Now operating out of their 10,000-square-foot facility which can hold 100 people, the approval allows them to fully build out their new 46,000-square-foot expansion. The existing building which will be renovated into an education center for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, with the expansion sitting just west of it. Within the new three-story structure primarily holding a gym for new sports programs as well as offices for new counseling services and rooms for the arts which has been highly successful for the organization.
A full presentation deck on everything going into the building including a test kitchen, maker space and more can be found here.
The center will also boast late night hours according to the Sun Times, with its doors being open from six in the morning to midnight, with youth only hours between three to eight in the afternoon. The white and black metal panel design will expand the capacity to roughly 2,000 people, with the program already helping over 6,500 youth and families per year. The $24 million project has collected almost all of its funding but is still accepting donations as work commences with Ujamaa Construction leading the charge with an anticipated fall 2023 completion date.
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