South Suburban Trades Initiative Project Update

SSTI Rehab House with new roof (Photo by John Hudzik)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- As reported in eNews a couple of months ago, work is underway on a home renovation in Park Forest by the South Suburban Trades Initiative (SSTI), a collaboration among the Village of Park Forest, South Suburban College, Prairie State College, and local trade unions. The house, located at 74 Marquette Street, needs significant repairs before it will be ready for a new occupant.

In the two months since the project began, noticeable renovations have been accomplished. A new roof has been completed by the Chicagoland Roofers’ Joint Apprentice and Training Committee – Local 11, which donated the labor while the village supplied the needed materials. Major roof repairs were required due to age and damage caused by raccoons.

A collapsed sewer pipe in the house was an unexpected discovery that required professional plumbers to trench through the concrete floor to access the damage and place a new sewer line to the driveway. That work has now been completed.

Work on the garage is being handled by students from South Suburban College under the guidance of SSC Project Manager Eugene Damiani. The garage repairs include wall stabilization, a new roof including repairs to the rafters and struts, major repairs to the walls and doors, and a new electrical feed from the house. The team hopes to have the roof replaced and much of the exterior work completed prior to winter.

Garage with roof under construction (Photo by John Hudzik)

Every window in the house will be replaced with low-emissivity (also called low-E) glass which helps keep the temperature in the home consistent by reflecting interior temperatures back inside. The removal of the old windows and the placement of the new ones will also be handled by the SSC team of workers.

Work is also underway to replace the heating and ventilation throughout the house and is managed by the team from the Prairie State Heating, Ventilation, and A/C (HVAC) training program. While the original rehab plan called for the use of heat pumps, the decision was made to use a conventional furnace located in the attic of the house.

The Sprinkler Fitters Local 281 is installing a fire sprinkler system in the house, which is required for all new village construction projects of this scope.

Replacement of interior header (Eugene Damiani center) (Photo by John Hudzik)

Work will soon begin on the construction of new interior walls, which will be done by both SSC students as well as the Painters District Council 14. The union workers will tape the sheetrock throughout most of the house while the students will hang and tape the sheetrock in the closets.

Damiani is supported in the project by his building site assistant, Abby Antoniazzi, who also helped with an earlier SSTI rehab project at 336 Early in Park Forest. Antoniazzi has earned her certificates in building rehabilitation and new residential construction and has just three courses left at South Suburban College to earn her degree. Using skills she learned at SSC and from working on the SSTI projects, she recently helped rehab her parents’ home.

Assistant site manager Abby Antoniazzi unloads a new window (Photo by John Hudzik)

Damiani said the original timeline of the project remains unchanged. The rough finishing of the house is targeted for completion by the end of the Fall term in December, with all renovations completed by the end of the Spring semester in May 2022.

Village of Park Forest Project Manager David Tracy is already thinking ahead to the next rehab project for the SSTI team. He has narrowed his choices for the next house down to four from the list of houses currently in the South Suburban Land Bank and hopes to make a final decision soon.

eNews Park Forest will be providing periodic updates on the progress.