On Aug. 21, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of the addition to its office building on Sheridan Road with tours of the new facility.
For the last several years, Zionites knew it as Kessler's clock shop on the corner of 26th Street and Sheridan Road. But since it was connected to the old Zion Bank building, which CTCA made into its operations center, it was a natural progression to expand a bit north to encompass the old clock shop. (No problem for owner John Kessler, who relocated his shop to Kenosha.)
CTCA went to work to modify the building and turn it into a beautiful three story extension of the operations building which now has close to 280 employees, but saved room for expansion.
In the new facility are the billing teams for the five different CTCA hospitals as well as financial hardship and specialty teams that can discuss in private any concerns the patient might want to address. Sometimes a patient can even signed up online for various areas of financial aid of which they were unaware. Among the many departments are also a research area, information services and several conference rooms.
The main entrance is now on the north side of the building where the doors remain unlocked throughout the business day for guests, who are greeted by a friendly receptionist. The east side entrances are locked and accessible only for employees.
Mike White, Sr. Vice President National Construction at CTCA, said despite delays due to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the project finished on time and on budget.
He said the construction delay eliminated the need to tent the building in order to work in winter weather, and that money was redirected for overtime.
With old buildings you never know what you might find. White said they found a bomb shelter in the basement with four-foot thick walls. It was built in the 1950s and there had been one in the bank basement, also. There are a few other buildings in Zion that also had bomb shelters built in the basement, he said.
“I hope we made Zion proud with the design and appearance of our latest addition,” said White. We also gave a new street and new sidewalks (both sides of 26th Street) back to the city and the community. The north sidewalk still had parking meter cutoffs in the concrete and was upheaved so badly, it was a trip hazard to walk on.”