September 6, 2018

The summer may be drawing to a close, but things are still heating up here in the Metro East. Recent good news highlights several major infrastructure developments, job creation efforts, healthcare expansions and more, all of which we are happy to share in this edition of the Good NewsLink.

Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey hosted a workforce development roundtable in August with Ivanka Trump, manufacturers, labor and LCCC students to showcase the importance of investing in the American worker. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and Trump toured the $4.5 million, 16,000-square-foot Weber Workforce Development Center before discussing workforce training, growing the middle class and creating jobs that allow people to succeed.

A ribbon cutting was held to celebrate completion of the $7 million River Bridge District Project in East St. Louis, which came in on time and more than $1 million under budget. The project has opened up several hundred acres of undeveloped, newly accessible ground that is already sparking interest from other agribusiness and distribution companies.

Finishing ahead of schedule, IMPACT Strategies has completed the new Washington University Pediatric Facility on Memorial Hospital East Campus in Shiloh, Ill. This will be the first Washington University Pediatrics multi-specialty office outside of Missouri, giving Illinois residents direct access to the services they offer. They also will soon be able to get treatment at a satellite location of Siteman Cancer Center Wash U is opening in Shiloh in 2020. Additionally, the first multidisciplinary clinic of its kind in the Metro East opened at HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon, Ill., where cardiologists, surgeons and other cardiac care specialists work closely together as a team to determine the best course of treatment for each patient with valvular heart disease. Plans are also quickly moving forward for several senior housing projects in the region, including developments in Highland and Edwardsville. 

We would like to extend our congratulations to Ameren Illinois Chairman and President Richard J. Mark who has been recognized in the spring issue of Savoy Magazine as one the Most Influential
African Americans  in Corporate America. Please also join us in congratulating Poettker Construction Co. on the recent ground breaking for their new corporate headquarters and warehouse in the firm's hometown of Breese.

Continue reading for more on these exciting stories and all the other good news occurring in the Metro East and have a great rest of the week!
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
Alton Memorial to open medical building in Bethalto
(Illinois Business Journal, 8/31/2018)
Alton Memorial Hospital and BJC Medical Group announced today they are expanding their presence in Madison County with a new medical office building that will soon be under construction in Bethalto.  The building, scheduled to open in March 2019, will replace the Family Physicians of Bethalto office and will be located on the south side of Illinois Route 140, just east of its current location. At nearly 9,000 square feet, the new structure will be four times the size of the current office. (Read More)

City Council approves Highland Villas senior housing development
(Belleville News-Democrat, 8/28/2018)
The Highland City Council went against recommendation of the city's planning and zoning board and approved a new development for active seniors called Highland Villas. During its meeting on Aug. 20, the council annexed eight acres of land owned by Frey Properties of Highland, LLC. The land is located on the north side of Illinois 143, about 100 feet west of Valentine Lane, near Silver Lake Park. (Read More)

Plans advance for senior living facility
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 9/3/2018)
Plans are moving forward for a planned senior living center at the site of the former Anna Henry Nursing Home on Hillsboro Avenue. The Edwardsville Senior Living Center - which has also been referred to as Hillsboro Senior Living - would consist of two apartment buildings and a clubhouse and be located at 637 Hillsboro Ave. Each of the buildings would be three-stories tall and have 24 apartments. The total site will break out to 12 one-bedroom units and 26 two-bedroom units. (Read More)

Officials celebrate development project on East St. Louis riverfront
(Illinois Business Journal, 8/31/2018)
Public and private stakeholders gathered Thursday to celebrate the transformation of a key section of the East St. Louis Riverfront into a magnet for additional industry and jobs.  A ceremonial snip of the ribbon marked the completion of the $7 million River Bridge District Project that came in on time and more than $1 million under budget. (Read More)

Here's how a $3.3 million renovation project will affect your commute in Belleville
(Belleville News-Democrat, 8/24/2018)
Donations are the lifeblood that keeps the nonprofit TOCO resale shop running in Belleville. But here's the catch: TOCO and nearby businesses are in a section of West Main Street that will undergo an estimated $3.3 million renovation, and TOCO's manager urges customers and benefactors to "brave the mess" and keep visiting the store during the construction project.  (Read More)

Bank of Edwardsville to be acquired by Busey Bank
(Illinois Business Journal, 8/22/2018)
The Bank of Edwardsville is being acquired by Busey Bank in a $304.9 million deal that should be concluded late this year or early next, officials from both banks said today.  First Busey Corp., the holding company for Busey Bank, based in Champaign, Ill., and The Banc Ed Corp., the holding company for TheBANK of Edwardsville, today jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which Busey will combine Banc Ed through a merger transaction. (Read More)

'It's full speed ahead': U.S. 67 advocates talk road improvements amid funding concerns
(Alton Telegraph, 8/21/2018)
JERSEYVILLE - Construction on the next phase of improvements along the U.S. 67 corridor north of Godfrey could begin in six months, if construction funding was available.  But that money could be hard to come by, even though that section of roadway is one of the top priorities of the state, according to transportation officials and members of Corridor 67 Inc., which held its annual meeting Tuesday in Jerseyville.
(Read More)

Here comes the sun? Zoning board to consider solar farm near St. Jacob
(Alton Telegraph, 8/27/2018)
EDWARDSVILLE - The Madison County Zoning Board of Appeals will consider a special use permit allowing the development of solar farms on farmland near St. Jacob. A hearing is set for 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, at the Madison County Administration Building, with a possible vote coming after the hearing. SolarStone Illinois LLC, and property owners James Mannhard and Kathleen Ttees, are requesting a special use permit for the development of two, two-megawatt solar farms.  (Read More)

IMPACT Strategies Completes New Washington University Pediatric Facility in Shiloh, IL
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 8/2/2018)
Finishing in less than 3 months and ahead of schedule, IMPACT Strategies has completed the new Washington University* Pediatric Facility on Memorial Hospital East Campus in Shiloh, IL.  IMPACT Strategies worked closely with BJC HealthCare and Washington University Pediatrics, in partnership with St. Louis Children's Hospital, to ensure their medical office, reception area, and exam rooms exceeded expectations. (Read More)

HSHS St. Elizabeth's Valve Clinic first of its kind in the Metro East
(Illinois Business Journal, 8/6/2018)
The Valve Clinic at the Prairie Heart and Vascular Institute at HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon, Ill., is the first multidisciplinary clinic of its kind in the Metro East. Opened last year, a group of cardiologists, heart surgeons and other cardiac care specialists work together as a team to treat valvular heart disease. (Read More)

Ivanka Trump hears from business, labor and students on workforce development
(Illinois Business Journal, 8/8/2018)
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and a host of dignitaries played host today to Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to the president, during a tour of Lewis and Clark Community College's welding facility in Godfrey.  The event included a workforce development roundtable with manufacturers, labor, and LCCC students. (Read More)

Interest growing as infrastructure work advances on riverfront
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
A substantial revamp of the infrastructure along the East St. Louis riverfront is more than half complete with truck traffic now using some of the overhauled roads and potential developers starting to show interest.  Phase 1 of the $8.1 million River Bridge District project is all but done, involving the reconstruction of about a mile of Front Street between two large grain operations, Cargill to the south and the Bunge-SCF operation on the north. (Read More)

Regional Freightway on roll with $400 million in infrastructure
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
The St. Louis region has seen a banner three months of back-to-back infrastructure funding announcements totaling more than $400 million, according to St. Louis Regional Freightway Executive.  It started with the Illinois Department of Transportation's announcement in May that the project to replace the Chain of Rocks Bridge carrying Interstate 270 traffic over the Mississippi River had been funded and included in the department's five-year construction plan. (Read More)

You can now get treatment for cancer at Siteman without having to go to St. Louis
(Belleville News-Democrat, 8/7/2018)
Washington University School of Medicine has completed the big transition, combining the Cancer Treatment Center and Illinois Oncology Ltd. in Swansea and turning them into a satellite location of Siteman Cancer Center.
The center is expected to move into a new building on the Memorial Hospital East campus in Shiloh in early 2020. (Read More)

America's Central Port continues developing infrastructure
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
America's Central Port expanded its tenant base last year with the addition of DNJ Intermodal Services, a trucking logistics company with locations in Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Minneapolis plus two in Wisconsin.  The company is located on the former golf course in Granite City where last year the former club house and restaurant were renovated and remodeled to serve as DNJ's office building. (Read More)

Enterprise zone expansion to include new Pontoon Beach hotel development
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 8/3/2018)
EDWARDSVILLE - Plans to build a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Pontoon Beach received a boost this week after two Edwardsville committees approved changes that will add 3.5 acres to the Gateway Commerce Enterprise Zone. Pontoon Beach and Madison County have already signed off on the request by Amichi Corporation, and the expected approval on Tuesday by the Edwardsville City Council would allow them to move forward with what is expected to be a $10 million project. (Read More)

Proposed $1.4 million sports dome project in Troy kept under wraps in closed meetings
(Belleville News-Democrat, 8/10/2018)
Public knowledge about a proposed sports complex in Troy is scarce because city officials have kept discussions under wraps in closed-session meetings or informal discussions for the past year and a half.  But Mayor Allen Adomite said the city hasn't made any decisions on whether to move forward with the project or buy land for it, and so details on the project don't need to be made public. Discussions about whether to buy property for a public facility are allowed to happen in closed meetings as part of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. (Read More)

Lincoln Trail is important to Fairview Heights. The city thinks it needs sprucing up.
(Belleville News-Democrat, 8/9/2018)
Fairview Heights was just a collection of homes and businesses along the road between Belleville and Collinsville before residents voted to incorporate in 1969.  St. Clair Square opened five years later, followed by strip malls and big box stores, but the city never really had a "downtown."Today, some people think of Lincoln Trail as the city's Main Street, and that's why Economic Development Director Paul Ellis and other officials are so intent on revitalizing it. (Read More)

Poettker: No place like home to construct new headquarters
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
Poettker Construction Co. is sticking with its roots by starting construction on a new corporate headquarters and warehouse in the firm's hometown of Breese.  Company officials took their time enjoying last month's groundbreaking. They didn't have the same luxury in 1986 when the company was applying for benefits under the Tax Reform Act to build the original headquarters.
(Read More)

Weber Workforce Center to open for classes this month at LCCC
(Illinois Business Journal, 8/14/2018)
Lewis and Clark Community College's new Weber Workforce Center will officially open to students when fall classes begin Aug. 20.  "It is awe-inspiring to see where we were when we started the Welding Technology program in 2012, to where we are now, getting ready to start the new semester in our new facility," said Welding Technology Coordinator Travis Jumper. (Read More)

Geotechnology Inc., Poplar Street Bridge Expansion, St. Louis
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
At one time, the Poplar Street Bridge was one of only two U.S. bridges that carried three interstates (I-70, I-55 and I-64) across a river. In 2012, after many years of planning, a three-phase proposal was adopted to alleviate bridge safety and transportation concerns. The final phase of the project, currently underway, includes several impressive engineering feats that rely heavily upon geotechnical services provided by Geotechnology Inc.  (Read More)

Southern Illinois Builders Association Opens New Marion Office
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 8/16/2018)
The planroom for the Southern Illinois Builders Association has moved to a new location. The address of the new location is: 1519 E. DeYoung Street, Suite B, Marion, IL 62959, (618) 527- 7600; An Open House is scheduled for: Tuesday, September 11th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Read More)

FMCHS still growing: Baseball field complex construction to begin
(Illinois Business Journal, 8/21/2018)
GLEN CARBON - One step at a time, that's the way Father McGivney Catholic High School is growing.
Since its opening in August, 2015, to the just-underway school year, FMCHS has seen its student population grow from 125 to 201.The school recently began use of a new band room, weight room and general-purpose classroom. FMCHS Principal Joe Lombardi said in an email he is gratified by the school's rapid growth. (Read More)

Congressman tours America's Central Port
(Advantage News, 8/13/2018)
GRANITE CITY | U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-12th District) recently toured America's Central Port in Granite City following an announcement last month that the port would receive a $2.27 million Economic Development Administration grant for construction of a new rail line.  The rail construction will enhance the link between manufacturers and the nation's freight transportation network and boost the region's economic readiness and competitiveness. (Read More)

Alton begins work on several city streets
(, 8/3/2018)
ALTON - Alton Public Works Director Bob Barnhardt said as many as 16 streets are on the city's list for improvements this year. On Wednesday, the city's public works department was working on milling and paving Seminary Street - a street Barnhardt said was needing lots of work with its bad combination of high traffic and too many potholes. The brick streets were covered with three inches of asphalt to provide a better driving surface. (Read More)

Quality Testing and Engineering, Work on Two Metro East Projects
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
Quality Testing and Engineering, of O'Fallon, Ill., is hard at work on two, highly visible Metro East projects.
One is The Villages at Hartman Lakes at Frank Scott Parkway and Hartman Lane in Shiloh. It is a multiphase development that will include nine buildings, a pool and a clubhouse in the first phase. Edwardsville-based Contegra Construction Co. is the general contractor. (Read More)

FGM Architects, SIUE Engineering Student Design Center, Edwardsville
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
Work is continuing on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Engineering Student Design Center. Phase two is scheduled to begin this October with an estimated completion date of spring 2019. The estimated $1.2 million project was funded through private donations from Engineering School alumni and local industry leaders. (Read More)

Gonzalez Companies, East St. Louis Treatment Facility, Illinois American Water Co.
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
Gonzalez Companies has been providing engineering services to Illinois American Water Co. since 2010, and the firm said it is proud to continue this relationship at the East St. Louis Treatment Facility.  The East St. Louis Facility is the second-largest treatment facility in the state of Illinois, operating at 56 million gallons per day (MGD). This project includes design and construction of proposed improvements required by new Illinois Environmental Protection Agency requirements.  (Read More)

Fairview Heights business assistance program gets plaudits
(Illinois Business Journal, August 2018 Issue)
Even as it closes in on the ripe old age of 50, Fairview Heights is being recognized for modern thinking. A business assistance program sponsored by the city was honored this year by the American Planning Association St. Louis Metro Section. (Read More)

Apprenticeship agreement between county, U.S. Department of Labor signed
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 8/2/2018)
EDWARDSVILLE - An agreement between Madison County and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to make it easier for local businesses to take advantage of apprenticeship programs. The agreement allows Madison County Employment and Training and the Madison-Bond Workforce Innovation Board to become a registered apprenticeship intermediary sponsor. (Read More)

Savoy Magazine Announces the 2018 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America
(Savoy Magazine, Spring 2018 Issue)
The spring issue of Savoy magazine names Ameren Illinois Chairman and President Richard J. Mark as one the Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. This year's list is a salute to leaders with an exemplary record of working to better their community and inspire others. In addition, Black Enterprise magazine named Mark to its 2017 list of the most powerful executives in corporate America. (Read More)

Grant to enhance nature preserve
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 8/15/2018)
EDWARDSVILLE - A reforestation effort is being planned for October that would begin with the removal of honeysuckle and other invasive species from Bohm Woods and culminate in a tree restoration project for the nature preserve.  Those plans to transform what is now called William C. Drda Woods have eased earlier concerns from people in the community that development of a student housing complex nearby would disturb one of the few old growth forests left in Madison County. (Read More)

City lands park grant
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 8/23/2018)
EDWARDSVILLE - The City of Edwardsville has received a $300,000 grant for the development of Plummer Family Park. At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Mayor Hal Patton announced the news but said that at this point he does not know exactly how the grant will be used.  "It's just for development purposes. We did get the drawings in and the drawings are going out for bid. The initial drawings were for eight ball diamonds and 12 pickleball courts, and parking to support those events," he said. (Read More)

Law creates new statewide scholarship program
(Advantage News, 8/22/2018)
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Tuesday creating a merit-based scholarship program for Illinois students and a task force to help share college and career interest data between high schools and higher education institutions. Both initiatives are products of the Higher Education Working Group, focused on making the state's colleges and universities more affordable and accessible for Illinois students.  (Read More)