OAK FOREST - Earlier this week, Illinois Review received several queries about military vehicles suddenly showing up at the now-closed Oak Forest Hospital at 159th and Cicero Avenue. Speculations were running wild, as some thought the National Guard was preparing for a citizen uprising, while others suggested that the federal government was transferring unaccompanied minors from the southern border to house in Oak Forest.
The hospital, deemed as an emergency shelter by Homeland Security, was used to house homeless victims after the Katrina hurricane.
The National Guard released an official statement Tuesday afternoon that confirmed what hospital security guards and non-official Cook County employees had been told: the military vehicles are being stored at the hospital while the Crestwood National Guard armory is being repaved.
Construction is scheduled to begin this week at the Illinois Army National Guard’s Crestwood armory parking lot, 13838 S. Springfield Ave in Robbins, Ill, the release says.
The $1.5 million project will upgrade and rehabilitate the current parking lot. Construction includes drainage improvements, on-site storm-water management and improvements to the current loading ramp. It will also include new lighting, paved concrete areas and an additional gravel lot for parking.
The project will last four to six months. Throughout the project, military vehicles will park at the Oak Forest Health Center in parking spots leased by Cook County.
Additional construction at the Crestwood armory includes improvements to the Field Maintenance Shop’s driveway approaches. A future construction project will include interior improvements to the armory.
The Crestwood armory is home to multiple Illinois Army National Guard units including Company B, 405th Brigade Support Battalion; Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery Regiment; Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion; Company F, Recruit Sustainment Program; 1744th Transportation Company; 108th Signal Company and Joint Force Headquarters Medical Detachment.
A video posted on Facebook fueled the public concern HERE.