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  News  


Springfield field office staff will call this 25,000-square-foot, two-story building their home in early 1999.

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NEW DCFS FIELD OFFICE

SPRINGFIELD, IL, SEPTEMBER 30, 1998 -- Ground was broken today for a new block-long Department of Children and Family Services field office that will help boost development on Springfield’s east side and provide better service to the public.

The 25,000-square-foot, two-story building to be located on a now vacant lot at 501 South 11th St. is slated to open in early 1999. Some 100 DCFS caseworkers will work from the new location predominately serving clients from Sangamon County.

The building is being developed by PitGam Enterprises Inc., a development company owned by businessman Michael Pittman and professional basketball star Kevin Gamble. The two are working to revitalize Springfield’s east side, and the new DCFS building will be their fourth project on 11th Street. PitGam’s prior projects include construction of DCFS’ print shop andmail room on the corner of 11th Street and Capitol Ave.

"We’re thrilled with the work PitGam has done for us in the past, and we’re looking forward to having a
state-of-the-art building that will give DCFS field workers the elbow room they need," said DCFS Director Jess McDonald. "The timing couldn’t be better because it will coincide with a new agency-wide computer system that will help our workers focus more time and attention on clients. We’re also proud to partner with Gamble and Pittman in this endeavor."

DCFS also plans to use the building for central Illinois regional meetings. Other field offices near Springfield are located in Lincoln, Beardstown, Decatur, Taylorville, Jacksonville and Carlinville. In the past, DCFS has depended on hotel space for regional meetings.

The Springfield field office will be relocated to the 11th Street address after operating 14 years from a 17,000-square-feet rental property at 1001 N. Walnut St.


"We’re excited about the partnership and the opportunity to work with DCFS on this project," Pittman said. "This fits into our master plan for the rejuvenation of Springfield’s east side."

The new concrete building will include more client service areas, a 1,200-square-foot conference center, interview and administrative hearing rooms, a playroom for youngsters, plus more storage and parking areas. It also will be completely accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Bids for the new building went out in January. A dilapidated building has already been demolished on the site. It is anticipated the DCFS building will open in February, 1999.

Architects for the building are Construx of Illinois, based in Springfield.

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