Clark Construction Completes McCormick Place West Eight Months Early
CHICAGO – In front of 500 people, including the Mayor of Chicago, local and state elected officials, and members of the Clark Construction Group, LLC, project team, the $882 million expansion to McCormick Place officially opened its doors on August 2. Work on the expansion began in 2003, with ground broken in 2004; the convention center’s West Building expansion was completed on budget and eight months ahead of schedule.
The McCormick Place West expansion added 470,000 square feet of exhibit space to the existing 2.2 million square feet at the nation’s largest convention center. The West Building also boasts 250,000 square feet of meeting space spread across 61 rooms and a 100,000 square-foot ballroom. McCormick Place is LEED-certified and among the environmentally-conscious features in the West Building is a green roof and high-efficiency HVAC system.
The Clark project team created a custom punch list and inspection process to improve efficiency and expedite completion of the project. The collaboration of employees on- and off-site played a large role in the McCormick Place West Building grand opening eight months ahead of schedule.
Other Clark innovations on the job site helped to streamline operations and save money over the life of the project and the building. These included building a flyover bridge allowing trucks to directly access the service building and engineering a stormwater channel to funnel water from the roof directly to Lake Michigan, bypassing any retention basin. With less stormwater having to be treated, the convention center will realize long-term operational savings.
The completion of McCormick Place West was praised by the owner and local officials. “This monumental achievement would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication and creativity of thousands of people. This 'can do’ attitude proves the City of Big Shoulders is also the City of Grand Achievements,” said Juan Ochoa, Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the project owner.
In all, more than 7,000 people, including the Clark Construction project team, contributed to the construction of McCormick Place West. The names of each person will be inscribed on a plaque in the West Building.
McCormick Place West, local officials estimate, will generate 25,000 new jobs, 250,000 - 300,000 hotel bookings, and add up to $1.3 billion in local and state revenue. More than 75 exhibitions and trade shows are already booked for the expanded building.