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HomeContractingWork really has started on GEMS Academy next to Vista Tower

Work really has started on GEMS Academy next to Vista Tower

Engineer Bob Johnson has confirmed that work is truly under-way at the new GEMS Academy at 355 Wacker Dr.

A foundation-only permit had in fact been issued on March 31, 2015, but it doesn’t seem much had been happening on the site when Chicago Construction News reported at the beginning of August that GEMS Americas CEO Denise Gallucci made the statement that construction had started in a letter that found its way into the blog’s tip box. (There was no explanation for the delay between the groundbreaking/building permit issuance and actual construction start.)

Johnson, visiting the next-door Vista Tower, caught shots of site work and what appeared to him to be soil boring.

bob johnston 355 wacker
Foundation preparation work on the GEMS building at 355 Wacker. (Photo courtesy Bob Johnson)

While on Aug. 1 CCN reported no recent building permits had been issued, we have now been able to dig out the 2015 permit associated with the project’s original groundbreaking ceremony.

That permit says the building will be a 13-story grade 5-12 school with a green roof, and (as a foundation only permit) assigns a permit value of $11 million.

The general contractor listed on the permit is Power Construction, LLC.  Illinois Masonry is listed as a subtrade.

gems wacker
the GEMS Academy classroom building on Wacker Dr. has been designed by bKL Architects.
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