CampgroundAlthough the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) celebrated its centennial-year anniversary at the end of 2015, the impact of this milestone is still evident through ongoing use of 5 new campgrounds (Camp Sullivan, Shabbona, Bullfrog/Maple Lake, Reinberg, and Dan Beard) built to commemorate the event and also part of the ambitious 3-year, $28.4 million Campground Program administered by R.M. Chin & Associates, Inc. (R.M. Chin). As the Program Manager and Owner’s Representative, R.M. Chin administered the complete design and construction of the campgrounds which are located throughout Cook County.

This program is first-of-its-kind for the FPDCC, and the immediate success is unmistakable. After opening the new campgrounds for the inaugural 2015 camping season, the FPDCC received reservations from more than 15,000 patrons and campers. Projections for the 2016 camping season look to be even more impressive as the FPDCC has already served over 4,500 campers from January to mid-April. “Developing 5 new campgrounds at a cost of over $25 million in less than three years was a critical goal for the Forest Preserves’ 100th anniversary celebrations in 2015. R.M. Chin & Associates assigned their ‘A Team’ to our program and delivered on time and within budget. We could not have achieved our goal without them,” said Christine Slattery, FPDCC Director of Planning and Development.

R.M. Chin’s first challenge was to assist the FPDCC in procuring a comprehensive professional design services team that would be capable of delivering construction documents for the program. R.M. Chin reviewed the qualifications of over 85 firms specializing in architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering; and provided detailed comments for the creation of a shortlist of prospective firms. R.M. Chin then developed the scope of work, milestone durations, and deliverable requirements for a professional services RFP, which was issued to the shortlisted firms. Upon receipt of the proposals, R.M. Chin served a key role on the selection committee for the overall evaluation and recommendation for the awarded design team. Once the design team was engaged, R.M. Chin further developed detailed schedules to create a road map for which the design milestone deliverables could be achieved.

As the program progressed, R.M. Chin continued to play a lead role in every phase of the program to ensure no detail was left to chance, including managing the procurement process of over 60 permits, utility, and municipal agreements – all of which were obtained in a timely manner. Once the design was complete, R.M. Chin continued with the preparation and issuance of construction bid packages, and the construction management of 8 different construction contracts. Ultimately, the road map set forth by R.M. Chin was realized with the design for all campgrounds to be complete by Fall 2014, allowing sufficient time for bidding and construction of the 5 priority campgrounds in time for the 2015 camping season.

“It was an honor to work with the FPDCC to create these amazing campgrounds,” said R.M. Chin President Eileen Chin. “I believe the end result is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the program team. It’s so rewarding to see the positive impact the campgrounds are having on residents and visitors to Cook County. With the weather finally warming up, all of us at R.M. Chin hope to also experience the campgrounds as patrons.”