Last week, DePaul University announced a “special project” for the school’s 117th anniversary. Today, that project was revealed to be the construction plans for its fifth sports facility. In addition to the Sullivan Athletic Center, Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center, Allstate Arena, and last year’s proposed new basketball facility, the John C. Reilly Athletic Sobriety Space Rehab Center will add a substance abuse recovery resource for DePaul alumni alcoholics.
John C. Reilly, a well-known actor in movies such as Talladega Nights and Walk Hard, is a DePaul graduate, and his success led to him becoming the building’s namesake. “We’re big fans of Step Brothers,” said DePaul’s Facilities Manager. “The Reilly Building will provide an exercise-centric approach to sobriety rehabilitation, using the responses we got from our anonymous survey.” This school survey, quietly conducted over the past year, received several responses stating that drunk DePaul students often got the urge to run, but decided not to. “We’re taking it one step further,” the facilities manager continued. “Having our members run when they don’t want to associates alcohol consumption with exercise.”
The new facility will be located directly in between the northern Lincoln Park and southern Loop campuses. However, in order to provide DePaul’s off-campus students a fair opportunity to commute to it, the facility has been placed several miles to the west near the Humboldt Park neighborhood. In a controversial move, the school has gotten special permission from the Chicago Zoning Department to begin the groundbreaking in Humboldt Park itself, where the lagoon will be filled in and the entire eastern half of the park will be re-purposed for the facility.
Several Humboldt Park area residents were interviewed about the new project. One resident in particular focused on the proposed use of the facility. “It’s literally a park, you can run outside,” he said, “you don’t need a building to do that.” As numerous angry onlookers tried to enter the park, construction workers stopped them in order to allow a wrecking ball to demolish several prominent monuments.
“We have to make room for all the tracks,” one construction worker stated. “We’ve got about six of ‘em, and all these statues and trees are in the way.” The facility will make use of several small running tracks, similar to the top floor of the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center. “I don’t know why they’re calling it a sports facility, it’s just tracks and water coolers,” a foreman said while nearby workers felled a tree onto the neighborhood’s tennis courts. The Reilly Building is estimated to cost 92 million dollars, using raised Chartwells food prices and increased tuition to help offset the cost. The Black Sheep got a look at the building’s final design, which shows the school’s motto, “I will show you the way of wisdom,” emblazoned above the front door.