How McCormick Place became Chicago's alternate care site

July 30, 2020

Because converting McCormick Place Convention Center would be faster than bringing a decommissioned hospital back online, and McCormick's vast square footage provided climate control not easily possible in an open field or stadium, it was chosen for an alternate care site during the Covid pandemic, according to an article from Building Operating Management on the FacilitiesNet website.

McCormick Place had large blank floor plates with power, water, and internet already running through them. The plan to convert part of the convention center to house up to 3,000 beds to serve low to mild acuity cases was announced on March 30. New patients were accepted on April 14. 

The facilities management aspect of the project was awarded to JLL, which provided security, janitorial, environmental services, and MEP repairs services. 

One challenge for the JLL team was that many of the members couldn't be at the site to support the project in-person due to travel restrictions. 

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