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Governor Pritzker Announces Upcoming Renovations to Illinois State Armory

Press Release - Wednesday, April 06, 2022

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Pritzker joined stakeholders and community leaders today at an event announcing critical renovations taking place at the historic Illinois State Armory in downtown Springfield. The project will consist of a complete renovation of the Armory, first built in 1937, to provide executive office space for employees from various state agencies. Renovation work will be implemented in two phases of construction beginning in July 2022, with an estimated completion date of July 2025.
 
The project is funded by a $122 million investment through Rebuild Illinois, Governor Pritzker's bipartisan capital plan and the first in nearly a decade. The 254,636 square foot, 7-story historic building has served numerous uses, but has been unoccupied for the past several years. In line with Governor Pritzker's goal to maximize space utilization in state-owned and leased properties, the renovations and subsequent office space consolidation will improve state agency efficiency and save Illinois taxpayers money. The work will be overseen by the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB).
 
"Rebuild Illinois is turning the Illinois State Armory back into what it should be: one of Springfield's crown jewels," said Governor JB Pritzker. "With a bipartisan-backed $122 million investment, we're making room for state employees to not only make a professional home of the state-owned building, but also to bring new life to the streets and shops of downtown Springfield. I know how important this project is to revitalize and reimagine our capital city, and I'm proud that the state can deliver for Springfield residents."
 
"As Chair of the Military Economic Development Committee, I know the importance of honoring the legacy of our military and the brave service people who protect us," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "Thanks to the investments in communities through Rebuild Illinois, the renovations to the Armory will uplift this historical structure into the future to further its legacy so that it can continue to be a cornerstone in downtown Springfield."
 
Improvements and renovations to the Armory will include the creation of efficient and flexible office space, along with the extension of natural light into the building. The focus of the interior remodeling is the creation of a central atrium within the original auditorium to extend daylight to the new floor areas while orienting office workers navigating the large 35,000 square foot floors.
 
"I am pleased to see the significant investment in such a prominent feature of the Springfield cityscape," said State Senator Doris Turner (D- Springfield). "I am looking forward to the completion of the project to bring one of Springfield's great buildings back to its former glory."
 
"The Armory is an important part of our state history," said State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur). "I am very thankful for our community to have the opportunity to preserve this fine structure. Thanks to Rebuild Illinois, many of our constituents will have employment."
 
"The Illinois State Armory is an iconic and loved building to the citizens of Springfield," said Assistant Republican Leader Tim Butler (R-Springfield), "and reopening it is something I am asked about frequently. Repurposing this building into significant office space on our Capitol Campus is a tremendous use for this historic structure. I applaud everyone involved with Rebuild Illinois who have allowed us to make tremendous investments such as this in our Capital City."
 
"As Ward 5 Alderwoman, I am thrilled that Governor Pritzker and the State Legislature have prioritized the rehabilitation of the Armory Building, an iconic structure on our Capitol complex," said Alderwoman Lakeisha Purchase. "The Armory Building holds important historic and cultural significance for Springfield and the entire state and it's restoration will serve as another catalyst to downtown Springfield development. Thank you to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly for recognizing the importance of putting this magnificent building back in use for the people of Illinois."
 
"A hallmark of The Next 10 initiative has been to strengthen the connection between State Government and local Springfield," said John Stremsterfer, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. "Working together on meaningful and forward-looking projects will keep Springfield among the great State Capitals in the United States. It is exciting to see so many transformational projects on the horizon."
 
"The Armory is one of the largest state-owned buildings in Illinois, and the Capital Development Board is looking forward to working with the State Historic Preservation Office to complete these exciting renovations,"  . "Once both phases of work are complete, the facility will once again be a key piece of downtown Springfield's State Capitol complex."
 
The project will begin with Phase 1 this July, which will focus on securing and stabilizing the building as a precursor to follow-on phases of work. This initial phase provides for inspecting and assessing existing conditions and making recommendations for securing and stabilizing all elements of the building as required to halt deterioration.
 
Phase 2 will consist of the major building renovation to create nearly 194,000 square feet of usable office and public space, including all work required on the interior and exterior to bring the building into compliance with current building and accessibility codes. Coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office is ongoing and will continue throughout the renovation to ensure the historic nature of the building is preserved, including restoration of several significant features and spaces. The renovation is being designed to obtain LEED Silver certification.
 
The building is currently unoccupied, as it has experienced ongoing damage due to water infiltration from the roof, basement, and exterior walls, has extensive mold and mildew growth, and contains a significant quantity of asbestos containing materials.
 
Governor Pritzker's bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the first in nearly a decade, passed with bipartisan super-majorities and will invest $45 billion in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers, and state facilities like the new crime lab and veterans' homes, creating, and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the six-year plan and revitalizing local economies across the state.

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