McHugh Construction, one of the Midwest’s largest commercial contractors, announces it has completed two renovation projects: the lobby, public spaces and exterior plaza of Orrington Plaza, the tallest office building in Evanston, Ill.; and the Rockford IceHogs’ locker rooms at the BMO Harris Bank Center in downtown Rockford, Ill.
“These projects continue the long-standing relationships we value with clients like Golub & Company, an owner and the manager of Orrington Plaza, and the Chicago Blackhawks, which recently acquired the minor league hockey franchise, Rockford IceHogs,” said Michael Meagher, president of McHugh Construction. “I think it’s a great testament to our team that we have a such a strong book of repeat client work. Whether it’s a high-profile renovation, ground-up construction or even a smaller project, we’re always happy to tackle any job for clients, no matter the scope.”
Orrington Plaza: Upgrades for Timeless Tower
At the 20-story Orrington Plaza in Evanston, Ill., McHugh Construction renovated more than 15,000 square feet of space throughout the main and lower-level lobbies. McHugh also installed a new reception desk and custom metal fins around the elevator core to enhance its design aesthetic as more people return to the office. The $1.6 million project also included upgrading the building’s security, fire safety and HVAC systems to provide a safer, more productive environment for tenants. On the exterior, McHugh added a new entry canopy and façade lighting.
Located at 1603 Orrington in downtown Evanston, the 308,695-square-foot office tower was built in 1969 in a Mies van der Rohe-style of architecture. McHugh also upgraded lighting in several areas, including color-changing LED lights retrofitted into the existing building façade.
“We completed all work while the building remained occupied,” said Kate Ivanova, vice president of operations for McHugh Construction. “While the pandemic reduced the amount of foot traffic through the lobbies, we were still respectful of the office tenants that remained. Through daily communication with Golub property managers, we scheduled construction activity around peak hours and provided clear signage for all building tenants and visitors so as not to disrupt their business activity.”
The relationship between McHugh Construction and Golub began in the early 2000s. In 2009, McHugh completed two new skyscrapers in Chicago for Golub: the 54-story Atwater Apartments at 355 E. Ohio St. in the Streeterville neighborhood and the 60-story Waldorf Astoria Chicago, formerly the Elysian Hotel Chicago, at 11 E. Walton St. in the Gold Coast. McHugh is currently working with Golub on interior renovations at Prairie Shores, a five-tower apartment complex in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.
Chicago-based Huntsman Architectural Group served as the architect and interior designer.
New Locker Rooms for Blackhawk’s Rockford IceHogs
McHugh Construction also completed new locker room facilities for the Chicago Blackhawks minor league hockey affiliate Rockford IceHogs. The $650,000 renovation is a joint venture between McHugh and local partner Cord Construction Co. and is part of a larger investment in the 40-year-old BMO Harris Bank Center, located at 300 Elm St., in downtown Rockford, Ill. The Chicago Blackhawks acquired the Rockford IceHogs franchise earlier this year.
The remodeled locker rooms span nearly 6,000 square feet and feature upgraded finishes such as custom player and coach lockers, new flooring and light fixtures. The space boasts a new layout and reconfigured cardio workout area, lounge and offices. The McHugh-Cord joint venture installed new mechanicals, including a modern HVAC system utilizing U.V. filtration for improved air quality and ventilation.
“We worked closely with our partners at Cord Construction, the designers at HOK, and the IceHogs management to complete the renovations on an extremely tight schedule,” said Andy Totten, vice president of McHugh Construction. “There were just 30 days from receiving our permits to the IceHogs home opener on November 6th, yet even with today’s supply chain challenges we were able to procure the specialized materials needed to execute to our high standards of performance and quality.”
The renovation of the IceHogs locker rooms is the latest chapter in a long history of collaboration between McHugh and the Chicago Blackhawks organization. In 2015, McHugh Construction completed new locker rooms at the United Center before serving as general contractor on a pair of significant ground-up developments in 2017: the 190,000-square-foot United Center East Addition containing new team offices and the nearby two-rink Blackhawks training and practice facility known as Fifth Third Arena.