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with information provided by Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
   While much of the area’s focus is on the massive $667 million construction project to build the New Mississippi River Bridge, hundreds of millions of dollars of development is currently going on throughout Southwestern Illinois. Here is a review of just some of the projects recently finished, currently under way or set to begin later this year:

Alton

  •   A multimillion-dollar renovation of St. Patrick’s Adult Education Center at Lewis and Clark Community College is expected to get under way this summer. The project, which will cost $5.6 million, will include updates to the center’s two current buildings, as well as the construction of a third building. It is expected to take 15 months to 18 months to complete.
  • The city of Alton is working on developing the former site of the Robert Wadlow Municipal Golf Course for a new Amtrak station and multimodal center. City leaders are hoping to start construction in Spring 2014 and open the station a year later. The city has already been approved for a U.S. Dept. of Transportation TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant of $12.85 million for infrastructure improvements.

Belleville

  • The 64,000-square-foot forensic science laboratory for the Illinois State Police is under way in Belleville at West Main Street and 23rd Street next to Lindenwood University. The lab is being built by Contegra Construction Co. and will be equipped to do testing for crime scene services, trace and drug chemistry, polygraph, latent prints, firearms, forensic biology and DNA. It is expected to be completed in October 2013.
  • Gundlach Equipment Corp., which operates as TerraSource Global, has begun construction on its $5.1 million, two-story office addition in Belleville. The company, which manufactures coal-crushing equipment for the mining industry, is adding new offices to accommodate employment growth. The project is expected to be completed in October.
  • Construction of a new senior-living apartment complex is set to begin this summer in  Belleville. The $5 million Cottages at Cathedral Square development will be built near Street Peter’s Cathedral in downtown Belleville.

East Alton

  • West Star Aviation Inc. has announced it will be expanding its operations at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton. Ground will be broken in the third quarter of 2013 on a new maintenance facility totaling 47,000 square feet in addition to opening a 14,000-square-foot wood shop and a 6,000-square-foot accessory repairs shop. This will bring West Star’s East Alton facilities from 250,000 square feet to 317,300 square feet with approximately 300 employees.

Edwardsville

  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville opened its Art and Design building in March. The $15.3 million project renovated the existing building and added 29,000 square feet for an art gallery, additional office space, graduate student studio space and classrooms.
  • SIUE will be opening its new Science Building this fall. Connected to the original science building, the $52 million, four-story addition will allow for more classroom, offices and innovative technology. The 139,000-square-foot facility is being built to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design requirements set by the U.S. Green Building Council, and will include solar panels on the roof, low-flow plumbing fixtures, sun shades and high-efficiency insulation, among other green features. SIUE is also planning on renovating the existing building, which is expected to cost another $30 million and will take two years to complete.
  • The new 5,000-square-foot Mike Shannon’s Grill also opened in March. The upscale-casual restaurant includes seating for 130 patrons inside and 30 on the patio.
  • Construction is under way on the $35 million Enclave West apartments on New Poag Road. The complex is scheduled for completion in August; Madison County recently awarded a $1 million contract to widen the road to accommodate the increased traffic.
  • Contegra Construction Co. is doubling the size of the Westway I distribution center in Gateway Commerce Center to accommodate the needs of a yet-unidentified Fortune 500 company.

Glen Carbon

  • A 136,000-square-foot Sam’s Club store is under construction at the intersection of Troy Road and Illini Dr. It’s expected to open for business in late summer. The project, being built by Poettker Construction Co. of Breese, is receiving $6.7 million in development assistance from the village to offset the costs of rectifying undermining and remediating environmental contamination.
  • The Wal-Mart store in Cottonwood Mall is receiving a 55,000-square-foot expansion and is being converted to a Wal-Mart Supercenter with full grocery. When the $5.5 million addition is completed in August, the store will total 184,000 square feet.

Highland

  • The new $60 million St. Joseph’s Hospital is 90 percent compete and scheduled to open later this summer in Highland. Korte & Luitjohan Contractors Inc. and McCarthy Building Cos. are partnering on the project.
  • The Korte Co. is building a $1.9 million, 17,500-square-foot medical office building as part of the St. Joseph’s Hospital project. It will include physician offices, treatment rooms, exam rooms and triage rooms and will be completed by August.

Madison

  • The owners of Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison have acquired the previously leased land on which the facility sits and plan a $20 million upgrade. Capital improvements are planned to be carried out in three phases. The first phase will consist of  an $11.5 million upgrade of the track’s infrastructure, including renovation of the grandstand and concession stands, improving the drainage and adding new corporate meeting space.

Mascoutah

  • A 19,000-square-foot addition is being made to the refrigerated warehouse at St. Louis MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah. The expansion is needed to accommodate the growth of North Bay Produce. The $3.5 million expansion is set to be finished in September.

O’Fallon

  • Menards opened its new 162,000-square-foot store at 1179 Central Park Drive in April. The store also boasts a 42,000-square-foot outdoor warehouse.
  • Construction on the addition and renovation of St. Clare Catholic School was completed in March. Holland Construction Services served as construction manager on the $4.45 million project that added more than 16,400 square feet for five new classrooms, a library, science lab, computer lab and administrative space.

Sauget

  • FedEx Ground broke ground last month on its 181,000-square-foot distribution center on a 45-acre site in Sauget Business Park. The center will be one of 500 such expansions FedEx Ground is undertaking in the next five years. The Sauget distribution center is expected to bring 25 full-time and 150 part-time jobs by September 2014.

Shiloh

  • Memorial Group Inc. has begun construction on Memorial Hospital-East, a planned 94-bed facility in Shiloh that will serve as a satellite campus for Memorial Hospital in Belleville. The $118 million project will include 72 beds in private patient rooms, a 16-bed obstetric unit, a six-bed intensive care unit, cardiac catheterization and gastrointestinal labs and a pharmacy. The project team includes Holland Construction Services Inc. and Pepper Construction Group.