Metro-East Area News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Artist’s rendering of new Wood River police station
(Image courtesy of BP America)

Wood River, BP partner on police station

The City of Wood River could soon break ground on a new police station, according to sources close to the project. The Wood River City Council last week approved a $6.8 million bid for construction of the station, planned for the northeast corner of the former BP America refinery property, near the intersection of Madison Avenue and Sixth Street.

BP America has donated the land at 550 Madison Ave. and has entered into an agreement with the city to finance construction of the building.

The Wood River Police Department “long ago outgrew” its current headquarters, constructed in 1776, according to a BP statement.  Police operations are currently spread out over several different buildings in the city, including the old station, City Hall, a separate investigations area, and two other storage areas. The new 21,000-square-foot facility will provide room enough to consolidate all operations at one location, as well as enhance the department’s efficiency and accessibility, according to the BP statement.

“The new location will provide us with a more visible presence in the community,” says Police Chief Otis Steward. “We will also be more centrally-located. The old station was on the west end of town, and most of the growth in our community has been to the east, so it will be good to have our facilities move in that direction.”

The new station will include a workout area, additional jail cells, a kitchen area (the only running water at the old site is in the restrooms), vastly improved parking, and a secure sally port area for transferring those who have run afoul of the law. There will also be a training/emergency operations area that will be large enough to potentially host meetings of the multi-agency Southern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission (SILEC), which could provide a benefit to local restaurants and retail outlets.

R.W. Boeker Company, Inc. will be the general contractor for the new police station.

BP transferred ownership of the police station site to the city, following an Illinois EPA public meeting on the project last fall. City leaders also hope the development of the new police station will spark renewed interest in the reuse potential for the rest of the former refinery property.

“The new police station is great for Wood River on a couple of levels,” says City Manager Jim Schneider. “First, it’s a benefit to the community in and of itself. Beyond that, though, we hope this project will draw interest from potential developers who may want to put other areas of the former refinery property to good use.”

Once ground is broken, construction of the new police station is estimated to take about 14 months, weather permitting. That means a ribbon-cutting ceremony could be held at the facility sometime in mid-2018.

Memorial plans second medical office building in Shiloh

Memorial Group and BJC HealthCare have announced plans for a second, multi-million-dollar medical office building on their new Memorial Hospital East campus in Shiloh.

A 70,500-square-foot three-story medical office building, now under construction adjacent to Memorial East, is already almost fully leased, according to a hospital spokesperson. That 70,500-square-foot, three-story building, scheduled to open in October 2017, will provide space for MMG orthopedic, OB/GYN, family medicine, vascular and pulmonary physicians, Lincoln Surgical Associates, Washington University School of Medicine pediatric specialists, the hospital’s Harold and Dixie LePere Breast Health Center, physical therapy/rehab services, laboratory draw services and radiology.

The newly proposed three-story 66,400-square-foot medical office building would provide space for physician specialists and services as well as expansion of Memorial Medical Group’s primary and specialty care providers. The estimated cost of the second building is $32.4 million.

Memorial Regional Health Services, the entity formed by Memorial Group and BJC HealthCare to own and operate the Shiloh hospital, has filed a certificate of need (CON) application for the building with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

The CON application is expected to be reviewed by the state board at one of its meetings later this year. If approved, construction would begin in early 2018 with completion slated for mid-2019, according to a hospital spokesperson.

“We are very excited to expand services on the Memorial Hospital East campus. We look forward to providing more convenient access to providers and services for residents of Southwestern Illinois,” said Mark J. Turner, Memorial Regional Health Services president.

Madison County Board member Helen Hawkins

MESD commissioner returns to county board

Longtime Madison County Board member Helen Hawkins has rejoined that body after serving briefly as a commissioners for the Metro East Sanitary District (MESD).

County Board Chair Kurt Prenzler named Hawkins, Charlie J. Brinza and Donald Sawicki, all of Granite City, to the MESD board in May.

However, Hawkins resigned from the sanitary district board last month.

She was shortly thereafter re-appointed to her old slot representing District 16 on county board.  

A replacement for Hawkins on the MESD board is now being sought

Nominations for the seat on the MESD board will be accepted through Sept. 8. Candidates must be registered voters in Madison County and live in the MESD.

They can submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest in the position to the County Board Office, Room 165, via mail, 157 N. Main St., Suite 165, Edwardsville, IL, 62025 or via email to

Section of Hwy. 100 dedicated to slain policeman

A section of Illinois Route 100 in Godfrey was officially renamed the Officer Blake Snyder Memorial Highway, Saturday (Aug. 26), with a ceremony at Lars-Hoffman Park.  Snyder, a St. Louis County Police Officer who grew up in Godfrey, was killed in the line of duty in October. Trenton Forster, then age 18, has been charged with first-degree murder in Snyder’s death.

State Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton) and State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) sponsored a joint resolution in the Illinois Legislature renaming the highway.


–Metro-East Area News Briefs–