The George Sollitt Construction Company

Kankakee Army Aviation Support Facility

In September 2014, The George Sollitt Construction Company was contracted to construct the new Illinois National Guard Readiness Center and Army Aviation Support Facility in Kankakee, Illinois. The architect was Bailey Edwards Design Inc. and  Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. (CM&T) provided the design for the civil work.

The $64.6 million, 185,200-square-foot aviation facility is among the largest projects undertaken by the Illinois National Guard. The Illinois Army National Guard will move three units and assets from Chicago Midway Armory to the facility in Kankakee. Approximately 200 traditional Army National Guard Soldiers, 40 full-time employees and ten UH-60 Blackhawk utility helicopters are to be relocated from Midway to the new facility in Kankakee, IL.

The two-story Army Aviation Support Facility / Readiness Center adjacent to the Kankakee Airport includes maintenance hangers, shops, flight facilities, fuel distribution, state-of-the-art fire suppression systems and a cold storage hanger. It also has classrooms, offices, ground equipment maintenance, a weapons simulator and flight simulators, vaults and a medical clinic. A new connection to the runway provides for helicopter landing and fixed wing military aircraft as well.

Elements of specific importance include the hangar space which was designed for the ten UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, a weapons simulator training space and task-loaded combat simulated flight environments. Also of significance is the development of a design that meets Anti-Terrorism Force Protection requirements and involves LEED Silver sustainability measures. The AASF’s hangar was equipped with aircraft maintenance features such as a 10-ton travelling bridge crane and 109 ft wide x 20 ft tall tilt-up canopy doors.

The AASF’s tactical operations building will be used to plan missions and monitor air traffic and weather. It is equipped with large monitors and cameras strategically located to provide visual oversight of the apron.