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   In a project that highlights an outstanding level of cooperation and coordination between different government agencies, a joint-use building is under construction on the grounds of the Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill. The 55,000-square-foot building will be shared by the Illinois Army National Guard and the college.
   Burns & McDonnell, a full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm, provided full design services including programming, schematic design and construction documents for all disciplines - architectural, structural, civil and mechanical, electrical and plumbing design for the building and supporting facilities. The project was a team effort between the firm’s O’Fallon, Ill. and Chicago offices. The firm is also providing on-site observation and construction administration services.
   The project, developed through a partnership between the Illinois Dept. of Military Affairs and Heartland Community College, includes shared space that will serve as an Illinois National Guard Readiness Center while providing seven additional classrooms for Heartland’s use during the week. The project will create more than 200 additional parking spaces for the college’s use as well. Heartland will allow the Illinois Army National Guard use of the auditorium, fitness center and classrooms during the Guard’s training assemblies.
   The Illinois Army National Guard will build the headquarters for the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade adjacent to existing college facilities. The 404th MEB includes several units with capabilities designed for domestic emergency missions including search and extraction teams, mass casualty chemical, nuclear and biological decontamination units as well as military police, firefighting, engineer and communications units. The facility’s placement will give the 404th MEB easy access to the highway system and airport in the central area of the state, allowing it to respond quickly to high-risk areas throughout the state.
   In addition to providing additional safety to the state, the new facility is expected to bring about $2.8 million in federal funds to Illinois each year after it is built, including $2.7 million each year to the Bloomington-Normal area. The total cost of the project is $18 million, with $10 million funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the balance  funded through the state. Construction will take approximately two years. In keeping with Heartland’s commitment to sustainability, the project was designed and will be constructed to the LEED Silver sustainability level.
   The project will employ more than 100 people during construction, provide educational opportunities and help strengthen national defense once it is complete, according to the Illinois Capital Development Board executive director Jim Underwood. Once completed, the facility will employ 22 full-time and nearly 200 part-time National Guard soldiers.