Metro East Area News Briefs

Chronicle Media

HOME staff member explains renovation of the former Miles Davis residence in East St. Louis.
(Photo courtesy of Bob Gill)

Restoration of jazz great’s home nears completion

The first phase of renovations to the boyhood home of influential jazz trumpeter Miles Davis is nearing completion, according to House of Miles East St. Louis (HOME), the 501c3 not-for-profit corporation established to undertake the project.

When completed, the renovated building at 1701 Kansas Ave. will offer exhibits and programs on the jazz great.

Foundation members have taken to calling the street “Miles Davis Way.”

The foundation already offers an array of educational enrichment programs for area youths — covering not just music but leadership, physical fitness, cultural and social issues, and even gardening. Education programs are offered in cooperation with East St. Louis School District 189, with sponsorship from the St. Louis-based Nestle Purina PetCare Company and banking giant Wells Fargo.

Leading the project is HOME’s founder and president, Lauren Davis; an East St. Louis native with families ties to the musician.

A sold out “Kind of Blue” fundraiser for the restoration, Sept. 25, at the Casino Queen, featured the Paris, France-based Moutin Factory Quintet, as part of an international tour schedule that also includes the Montreal Jazz Festival.

However, tax contributions for the projects are still sought.  Tours of the work in progress at the site are available by appointment.

For additional information call 618-213-8120 or see

Solar program extends registration deadline

A new public-private, group-purchasing program for solar heating equipment is extending its participation deadline — and issuing a promised customer rebate — in the wake of greater than anticipated consumer interest.

One of a handful of novel programs authorized by local or regional government entities in the Midwest over recent years to encourage alternative energy utilization, Solarize Metro East offers discounts on solar heating system purchases and installations for residence, businesses and organizations in Madison and St. Clair counties.

Since opening on May 1, Solarize Metro East has received orders from 31 homeowners, businesses, and farms in the two counties. Solar arrays have already been installed at three residences.

That meant the program quickly hit sales targets set by its solar equipment supplier; triggering a 3 percent discount which will now be passed onto existing customers as a rebate, according to the St. Louis-based Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), which administers the initiative through offices in Swansea.

Base on continued interest, the MREA has extended its registration deadline to Oct. 31 and scheduled four additional meetings on its Metro East program:

  • Oct. 4, Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Belleville City Hall Council Chambers, 101 S. Illinois St.,
  • Oct. 8, Monday, 6:30 p.m., Edwardsville Public Library, 112 S. Kansas St., and
  • Oct 10-11, Thursday, 6:30 p.m., O’Fallon City Hall Council Chambers, 255 South Lincoln Ave.

Solarize Metro East is administered by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) at no cost to the counties. This type of program has been successful in other jurisdictions in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and as seen in Madison County as well as Urbana-Champaign, Bloomington-Normal, Milwaukee, and Cedar Rapids.

Solarize Metro East is sponsored by the Lewis and Clark Community College, Sierra Club, Madison County Resource Management, the cities of Belleville and Columbia, and Glen Carbon Cool Cities Committee — one of several Cool Cities established in Illinois by the Sierra Club over the past several years. MREA administers the program at no charge to sponsoring entities.

Swansea-based, StraightUp Solar provides free solar site assessments and solar installations for the program participants. The company was selected through a competitive bidding process.

Solarize Metro East is the fifth such program in the Midwest following on programs in Urbana-Champaign, Bloomington-Normal, Milwaukee, WI, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

For additional information call 715-592-6595 or visit

Planned new Anderson Goshen Campus in Edwardsvillle
(Image courtesy of Anderson Healthcare)

Anderson, Cardinal Glennon plan Edwardsville medical complex

Maryville-based Anderson Healthcare plans to develop an $8.5 million Edwardsville medical campus on a 10-acre parcel of land on Goshen Road within the I-55 Corridor development area. St. Louis-based SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the SLUCare Physician Group, will provide pediatric care at the facility.

The planned new Anderson Goshen Campus, across from the YMCA Goshen Center, is intended to provide care within walking distance for residents for nearby neighborhoods, as well as meet the needs for the growing, nearby industrial areas.

Phased development of the medical complex is to begin with a one-story building that will house an ambulatory surgical treatment center and a pediatric specialty clinic on the southwest corner of the site.

The surgery center will provide an array of services for both adults and children, according to Anderson spokespersons.

Three additional buildings, planned for the future, could include a physician office building, urgent care center and imaging center.  

The “unique” new facility will help to fill a need for pediatric care in Madison County, according to an Anderson Healthcare statement.

“The surgical center will include private patient pre- and post-operative areas, two operating rooms and a procedure room.  A lab draw station and plain film x-ray machine will be on site to complement surgical services as well as provide an additional outpatient service to local residents,” said Lisa Klaustermeier, Anderson Hospital chief nursing officer.   

The project is subject to approval by the Illinois’ Health Facilities & Services Review Board.   Anderson Healthcare hopes to receive approval from the state by the end of 2018 with intent to break ground on the project in early 2019.

County okay $750,000 loan for shopping plaza

The Madison County Board has approved a $750,000 loan to fund a build-out at the Eastgate Plaza shopping center in East Alton.

Several new tenants have recently signed letters of intent for space at the once-declining shopping plaza; with several more anticipated, according to the current owner of the complex.

The loan is to be made by the county under the federal Urban Development Action Grant program through the Village of East Alton.

It comes with a 4 percent interest rate and a 10-year repayment period.

Under the federal loan program, the developer will make loan payment with interest to the village, which will then repay the county.

Eastgate is currently home to Julia’s Banquet Center, a Dollar General store and the AMC Showplace 6 theater.

Anticipated new tenants include a major chain grocer, which would become the center’s anchor store, a large fitness center, a well-known hardware store, a video gaming center, a coffee shop and an insurance agency and a specialized storage facility for large items, such as motorhomes and trailers.



–Metro East Area News Briefs–