Durbin: Senate Approves More Than $146 Million for Military Construction Projects in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate has approved $146,742,000 in federal funding for military construction projects in Illinois.  These projects were included in President Obama’s FY2012 Budget and supported by Durbin. 


The Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations Bill for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs includes funding for the following Illinois projects:


  • Army National Guard Readiness Center, Normal, Illinois.  $10,000,000 to construct a 59,410 square foot training and support facility for the Army National Guard.   This facility will provide a new Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) with much-needed infrastructure including administrative, supply, classroom, locker, latrine and maintenance space.  This facility is needed to accommodate this new unit and prepare its members for mobilization.  The State of Illinois will contribute additional funds to this project. 


  • Army Reserve Center, Homewood, Illinois.  $16,000,000 for construction of an addition/alteration to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Army Reserve Center (VVARC).  This project will provide the 400-member, 31,080 square foot training facility with classrooms, a weapons simulator, weapons vault, assembly area, and physical fitness facility for four Reserve units.  The current facility is overcrowded and cannot be expanded to meet minimum mission requirements.  The planned addition will allow these units will to operate and train in facilities to maximize training and aid recruitment and retention of soldiers. 


  • Army Reserve Center, Rockford, Illinois.  $12,800,000 for acquisition of 15 acres and construction of an Army Reserve Center (ARC), a 150-member training facility with administrative, educational, assembly, library, learning center, weapons vault, weapons simulator, and physical fitness areas for seven Army Reserve units.  A maintenance shop will provide work bays and maintenance administrative support.  Without this facility, units will be forced to operate and train in facilities not properly configured to allow the most effective training to complete mission requirements, negatively impacting training and retention objectives.  This facility would replace small, outdated facilities in Rockford, Illinois, and Beloit, Wisconsin.


  • Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois.  $107,942,000 in funding for two military construction initiatives.  $91,042,000 will be used to install a building-level heating system to replace the existing steam system, reducing high repair and energy costs associated with the current system.  An additional $16,900,000 will be used to demolish an outdated health clinic formerly known as Naval Hospital Great Lakes, which was replaced by a new outpatient ambulatory care medical clinic addition at the existing North Chicago VA Medical Center.  This initiative will eliminate ongoing maintenance expenses associated with the oversized, obsolete and otherwise abandoned facility.