As the fall semester comes to a close, students are preparing for the upcoming finals period, facing stress and navigating study resources for the exam-filled week.
With classes ending on Dec. 5, the three-day study period allows students to dedicate their time to studying and working on final projects, without the obligation of classes. Finals will begin on Dec. 9 and end on Dec. 17.
Students largely expressed feeling overwhelmed about their upcoming final exams, saying that they feel they have little time to prepare before the finals period begins.
“I have one [exam] the first Saturday and then also Sunday. It’s very front loaded this year,” said Emily Crites ’25. “ I feel like I’m still catching up, making sure I know all the material the first time around.”
Anjali Kulkarni grad echoed this sentiment, though she also appreciated the respite from work that Thanksgiving break provided.
“I think it gave me some time to take a step back, regroup and be more mentally prepared for what’s coming,” Kulkarni said, noting the additional stress of her upcoming graduation from her Masters of Engineering program this semester.
Kristen Moon ’25 also said she enjoyed taking time off from schoolwork, but she felt that the University-designated days for Thanksgiving break did not provide enough time for her to travel home.
“I did skip the Monday and Tuesday last week, so, with skipping, [the break] was enough, but I feel like if I had gone to classes on Monday and Tuesday, it wouldn’t have been,” Moon said. “I live in Oregon, so if I didn’t skip, there wouldn’t have been enough time to get home.”
As they begin to study for final exams, students said that additional office hours were a helpful resource.
“Office hours have always been really good for me — being able to go meet with my TAs, my professors,” said Grace Ryan ’24. “I make sure that I’m on track with everything, that I know what I’m preparing for.”
Kelly Jiang grad said she especially appreciates office hours from course teaching assistants, who help make the material more accessible.
“My TAs are great. They’re always there if you have questions, they respond to emails really quickly and they go over the material in a way that we understand a lot better than the professor does,” Jiang, who is concluding her first semester as a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student, said. “They’re a lot less intimidating to go [to] and ask questions.”
Despite this support from professors and course staff, some students expressed frustration at having to take multiple final exams in one day. During finals week, Moon and Crites both have two exams scheduled in one day, with one test in the morning and another at night.
“I wish the two tests in one day were illegal,” Moon said.
Ryan said she wished finals period allowed for more flexibility with rescheduling exams to avoid taking multiple in the same day, though she acknowledged the difficulty in providing this accommodation to every student.
“I know this is a very difficult thing — especially with big classes, because everyone has very different schedules — but I always end up having multiple exams on the same day, and I just wish there was some way around that,” Ryan said.
Although she expressed feeling stressed about finals week, Moon said she appreciates the support from her professors.
“There are a lot of study materials already out. I think [professors] want us to start preparing, and they support us in that way,” Moon said. “They’re encouraging us to study and do well. They’re trying to set us up for success.”
Bay Staters will soon be able to go online to confirm the certification status for most of the state’s thousands of police officers.
Members of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission approved a motion Tuesday to publish a list “containing the name, employing agency, and certification status of all law enforcement officers who have been granted initial certification since December 15, 2021 or granted full recertification.”
A POST Commission spokesperson said last week the database will become public “no earlier than next week.” The portal will only list information for officers who are certified, the spokesperson said.
The reform law that created the panel required it to move toward a publicly available, searchable database with law enforcement officer records, so long as the panel took into consideration officer health and safety.
Commissioner Larry Calderone, who is president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, cast the lone dissenting vote.
The vast majority of police whose last names begin with the letters A through H secured recertification under the first round of that process outlined in the law. Of the 8,846 total officers in the pool, 8,322 were again certified and another 269 were conditionally certified, according to data POST Commission Executive Director Enrique Zuniga presented at a Tuesday meeting.
While it still represents less than 3% of the total pool of applicants, the count of police officers who were not recertified by the panel swelled substantially from 57 last month to 243 as of Nov. 16, driven in large part by the inclusion of officers out on leave in the tally.
Twenty-six officers were not recertified for what Zuniga called a “pending matter including a disciplinary matter.”
“This includes instances where there is not an attestation by the chief and the Division of Certification is affirming that determination of not a good moral character,” Zuniga said, referring to a requirement in the certification process for a law enforcement agency head to attest to an officer’s character.
Most denials were for reasons unrelated to on-the-job performance. More than half, or 133 officers, did not earn recertification because they are currently out on administrative, medical, military or family leave. They will each get 90 days to comply with recertification requirements once they return to active duty.
“Please note that this is not a pejorative status and that the officer remains in good standing but is ‘pending’ or ‘on hold’ until their return,” POST Senior Certification Specialist Gina Joyce wrote in an Oct. 31 memo included in Tuesday’s meeting materials.
Another 21 officers retired or resigned after submitting their applications, which were due on July 1. Sixty-three applicants failed the Bridge Academy, a handful of whom chose to go on to a full police academy and can eventually earn certification once they finish their training, according to Zuniga.
Some of those officers denied recertification may opt to appeal the decision by seeking review of their case from Zuniga or from the larger POST Commission.
Certification for a dozen officers is tied up amid potential review hearings before either Zuniga or the full commission. The panel entered closed executive session following Tuesday’s open meeting to consider six requests for preliminary inquiries and nine cases of recommended certification suspension.
The law that created the POST Commission set up a rolling three-year cycle for recertification of all Massachusetts police. Officers with last names starting with the letters A through H needed to apply for recertification this year, and others will be due in future years.
In addition to getting a clear look at which police officers are certified, the public can also begin to file complaints against law enforcement via a new web portal POST launched in recent days.
The police misconduct complaint form now available will expedite the process of bringing potential issues before the panel for review.
“This form will enable us to capture structured data in a much more efficient way and generate better reporting,” Zuniga said.
Civilians who fill out the questionnaire can do so anonymously, though the commission encourages them to identify themselves to allow the oversight panel to conduct follow-up inquiries and gather more information.
In its earlier days, the commission had been fielding public concerns via phone calls or emails sent to a general inbox. The panel has received about 1,650 complaints since its inception, and Zuniga said about 350 of those — nearly one-quarter — came from “a very small group that’s about a dozen individuals.”
“We of course anticipate the new form will result in more complaints coming to us, but our approach is to treat all complaints seriously and interact with the public in a professional manner,” Zuniga said. “Some of the repeat complainers, sometimes it eventually becomes clear that some of these complaints are not credible for a variety of reasons. We are documenting and making sure we have consistent protocols for those responses. In many cases, it means contacting the law enforcement agency, and in some cases, it may include referring the individual to additional resources.”
Business: Energy Flow Acupuncture & Wellness Center
Address: 24W500 Maple Ave., Naperville
Phone/website: 630-335-1069, www.energyflowhealth.com
Owner: Amy Cohn Rieselman, 45, of Naperville
Years in business: 6
What does your business do? “My focus is on women’s health, digestion and mental health. People come to me with a variety of concerns. Oftentimes, pain is the main complaint. ... Internal health, internal medicine, digestive disorders, menstrual disorders, pregnancy. I have teens here for anxiety, ADHD, sports injuries,” said Cohn Rieselman, who’s been a licensed acupuncturist and board-certified Herbalist for 18 years.
Acupuncture can help all those? “Yes.”
How did you get into it? “I graduated with a degree in biology from Northern Illinois University. I was trying to figure out what to do. Then I encountered Chinese medicine and it lit the lightbulb. I was living in Portland, Oregon, and it’s popular on the West Coast. I had an autoimmune disease in remission. I went to a student clinic and it was amazing. I thought it was the coolest thing. ... My boyfriend at the time was very much into natural health. ... I started to use natural remedies to heal myself. It’s beautiful medicine.”
What makes it beautiful? “It’s based on the laws of nature. ... Modern, conventional medicine, you can’t say it’s all natural. ... You’ve got answers other than drugs and surgery.”
How are you a herbalist? “The master’s program (I took) included herbal medicine. I had always loved plants and been interested in the ways people use plants. ... Acupuncture and herbs work closely together.”
Is acupuncture difficult to learn? “You need to learn anatomy and physiology. There’s some of the required science. The texts our profession is based on were written 1,800 to 2,000 years ago. And they’re still 100 percent relevant. ... I’m the type of person who needs a lot of variety, who needs to always be learning. I can be in this field forever and never get tired of it. There’s so much to learn.”
What happens when someone comes in? “Part of the test is a neuro-emotional technique that involves muscle testing. ... I want people who value their health and believe in mind-body-spirit medicine.”
What makes acupuncture special? “It works on a level that no other medicine works on. It works with blood flow and circulation of all the fluids in the body. It works with the nervous system. It’s working on another energy level (that) I think modern medicine doesn’t recognize or acknowledge.”
How long until someone feels better? “It’s different for everyone. ... We say about six treatments for an acute problem you’ve had less than three months. We estimate for every year you’ve had a chronic problem, expect a month of treatment.”
What about herbs? “I customize everything here.”
Is ginger popular? “Ginger is a very important Chinese herb. We have three kinds. ... Cinnamon is very important, too. ... It warms the blood so it promotes circulation. That’s why it’s good for diabetics.”
Is there a busy time of year? “September gets busy after people get back into the school routine. March has been pretty busy.”
What do you like best? “I love the one-on-one work with another person and how I can be that safe place for them, be that one person they can completely complain to about everything.”
Any negatives? “Marketing is pretty hard, letting people know I’m here and what I can do for them.”
What misconceptions do people have about your business? “That it hurts. People are afraid of needles. These are people who haven’t had acupuncture. They got vaccines as kids and that’s what they base it on.”
Do you have competition? “There’s competition, but the area is not saturated. I never feel threatened. There’s another acupuncturist in this building.”
Are people more likely to try acupuncture now than they were 10 or 20 years ago? “Yes. More people are getting good results with it and telling their friends and family. I get referrals from chiropractors, medical doctors.”
Any favorite stories? “I helped one woman with her for fertility for six months. Then she stopped coming in. I never knew what happened. Then, six, seven years later I saw her post on Facebook: ‘Amy’s the reason I have my daughter.’ I don’t know how many babies are out there because I helped them get pregnant.”
What about men with ED? “Herbal medicine is important for that. Works great.”
Future plans? “I’m still trying to grow the practice.”
What’s your advice for someone starting a business? “Don’t put limitations on yourself. Dream big.”
If you know of a business you’d like to see to profiled in Down to Business, contact Steve Metsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Metsch is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.
CINQTECH Nigeria Limited, an indigenous procurement, IT and engineering service company has bagged ISO 9001, 2015 certification in recognition of its operational, management and organisational effectiveness which aligns with international best practices.
The quality management system certification which covers leadership, planning, support, operation, performance, evaluation among other criteria was conferred on the company by BQSR, globally recognised ISO Certification body.
The certification followed a comprehensive audit and evaluation exercise conducted by BQSR, a certification body accredited by International Accreditation Service (IAS) USA, a member of IAF.
Speaking on the certification, Chief Executive Officer, CINQTECH Nigeria Limited, Babatunde Fafore, attributed the certification to the strong commitment and professionalism as well as operational, management and organizational effectiveness exhibited by the company.
“This certification means a lot to us as a business and clearly demonstrates our commitment to values of excellence in delivery of product and services to all our clients. Our processes, policies and business activities were audited to ensure compliance to requirements of the standard. We have truly shown our unalloyed commitment to best practices and compliance in what we do. In view of this, we are very excited about this achievement as we continue to make positive strides in the industry”, Fafore said.
He stated that the certification represents a big milestone that would help to boost the professional capability of the staff members and Boost clients’ satisfaction.
Since its incorporation, CINQTECH Nigeria Limited has been involved in the provision of a wide range of services to a number of companies and individuals in the Oil and Gas, Banks and construction industries.
BQSR is a globally recognized ISO Certification body and has a specialized wide pool of auditors and technical experts in each field to conduct audits at clients across various industries like construction, manufacturing, software, food and service sector companies. It has global presence in more than 20 countries including the USA, UK, Romania, Singapore, Italy, Peru, Mexico, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India.
Published 3:38 pm Thursday, December 8, 2022
By Sarah Ladd
During three of her four pregnancies, Laura Browning drove three hours round-trip past hospitals to get prenatal care from midwives in Lexington, the only place that offered what she needed.
She even made the trip while in labor with her first baby, feeling that “the care that I was receiving” from the midwives “was worth that risk” of birthing in her car.
As deaths from pregnancy rise in the United States, Browning and other advocates say Kentucky could fill gaps in prenatal care by educating and certifying more midwives, attracting more to the doula profession and encouraging the creation of freestanding birth centers in the state.
The shortage of care for pregnant people is documented in a recent March of Dimes report, “Nowhere To Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S.”
More than 2 million Americans, most of them rural, live in “maternity care deserts,” defined in the report as having “no hospitals providing obstetric care, no birth centers, no obstetrician/gynecologist and no certified nurse midwives.”
In 2021, 14.2% of mothers received inadequate prenatal care, says March of Dimes, which gave Kentucky an F on its annual report card this year, making it one of just nine states plus Puerto Rico to get a failing rating.
Almost half of Kentucky’s 120 counties — 48% — are maternity care deserts, according to the March of Dimes study.
Prenatal care provided by midwives has been shown to prevent costly complications in mothers and babies, including cesarean deliveries and low birth weights. March of Dimes reports that “midwifery care has been associated with an increased chance of having a low-intervention birth and lower cost of care due to significantly lower odds of medical intervention.”
Yet only about 8% of births in the U.S. are attended by midwives. In Kentucky, roughly 700-800 babies are born every year outside hospitals and are usually delivered with midwives present. There were 51,688 live births in Kentucky in 2020.
Certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and pass national exams after graduate-level studies, according to the American College of Nurse Midwives.
The midwives and midwife students who spoke with the Kentucky Lantern expressed passion for serving their home communities and reported low transfer rates to hospitals, which eases the burden of hospital staffing shortages.
Also, midwives can provide important inclusive services to people who are “beyond the binary,” said Mary Harman, the only midwife within a two-hour drive from Pike County who travels that far for clients.
“Not every person needs an OB-GYN,” they said. Still, Harman said they cannot accept insurance or Medicaid, which is another barrier to their practice, Canary Nest Midwifery.
Research also suggests that freestanding birth centers, which are staffed by midwives and offer holistic birthing options for people who qualify, reduce the cost of care while producing higher patient satisfaction.
Kentucky is in the minority of states that have no freestanding birth centers. The American Association of Birthing Centers reports that more than 384 freestanding birthing centers are operating in 37 states and the District of Columbia, a 97 % increase since 2010.
Advocates attribute the lack of birthing centers to the difficulty of obtaining the state-required certificate of need in the face of opposition from hospitals that can mount costly legal battles, such as the one waged by three hospitals against a retired Army officer who tried to open a birthing center in Elizabethtown.
She prevailed in Franklin Circuit Court, which overturned a hearing officer’s denial of a certificate of need, but was forced to provide up in 2017 when the hospitals won on appeal.
Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, has sponsored legislation in the past to remove the certificate-of-need requirement for birthing centers and will continue to support them. He has called the law mandating the certificate “very cumbersome.”
In 2019, the legislature did take action aimed at licensing more certified professional midwives, after the Kentucky Hospital Association and Kentucky Medical Association dropped their years of opposition.
The results have been underwhelming. In the almost four years since the law was enacted, the number of certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in Kentucky has increased by only 12 — to 131 providers, reports the American Midwifery Certification Board.
Some hospitals have doula and midwife programs in-house now, such as the University of Kentucky’s midwife clinic and Norton Healthcare’s doula program.
Among the barriers to increasing midwifery care in Kentucky is the $1,000 cost of renewing a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) license. Compare that with $110 in Tennessee, $200 in California or $322 in New York.
Earlier this year, Kentucky took advantage of an opportunity in the American Rescue Act Plan to put in place one of the March of Dimes recommendations by increasing postpartum care under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months. The change will allow an estimated 10,000 Kentucky mothers to maintain their health coverage for one year after giving birth.
Stark racial disparities in maternal mortality
The March of Dimes reports that deaths from pregnancy are increasing in the United States, which already has one of the highest maternal death rates among high-income countries.
About 900 women in the U.S. died from pregnancy-related issues in 2020, up 14% from 2019 and up a whopping 30% from 2018. Sixty-three percent of pregnancy-related fatalities are preventable, says the report. In Kentucky, preterm births increased in 2021 to 12%, up from 11% in 2020.
Pregnancy is especially dangerous for Black Americans, who are three times more likely to die from pregnancy than their white counterparts. Conversely, white women are more likely to have access to good prenatal care than Native, Black, Pacific Islander, Asian and Hispanic women.
Those stark disparities are not lost on the expectant mothers who turn to doulas to guide them through their pregnancies and births. Doulas provide moral, physical or other support to pregnant people throughout pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.
Meka Kpoh, a doula in Louisville, founded the nonprofit Black Birth Justice to help mothers and babies get off to a healthy start all the way through the critical postpartum period. She has been in birth work long enough that the March of Dimes report wasn’t news to her.
She said these gaps in care should be taken seriously.
“The maternity care deserts aren’t going to just erase themselves,” said Kpoh, who is also in training to be a midwife. “It’s not going to be like next year there’s going to be a new hospital and every community has a hospital at least 30 to 40 minutes away. That’s not going to happen, at least not anytime soon. So it’s really important for there to be options for families like licensed certified home birth midwives.”
Kpoh said many of the clients she sees are driving hours from rural areas. “It’s really insane to me,” she said, “that we are their only option.”
In addition to more doulas and midwives, she said Kentucky needs freestanding birthing centers.
“Pregnant people are driving three hours just to get prenatal care, just to provide birth, just to have postpartum appointments,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”
To get the kind of care they want, Kpoh said many pregnant people end up facing a difficult choice: “Either they drive three hours to a hospital or they catch their baby by (themselves),” she said, adding: “I don’t recommend that for anyone.”
Renee Basham, a doula, founded the nonprofit community doula program Hope’s Embrace to help pregnant people who are often cut off from help. Basham and her 30 doulas serve those who are unhoused and those with drug addictions.
“You’re not necessarily treated well if you are by yourself,” said Basham. “And so having people … vouch for you, or speak up for you or remind you to speak up for yourself … all of that … contributes to better outcomes.”
The stigma of going against the norm
Anihhya Trumbo, a doula who serves the Lexington area, said there remains a stigma about birth outside a hospital.
“Kentucky is a state where it’s always been preached that doctors know best,” she said. “It’s a bit of a taboo if you go outside of what is … considered the norm here.”
Doula and midwife-assisted birth isn’t a new thing, either, she said.
“This is something that’s been going around since the beginning of time,” said Trumbo, who is also a military veteran. “We just got Western medicine and that’s what changed the norm but home birth and having the natural birth — that’s how we got here.”
Browning was so committed to midwifery care for herself that from six weeks gestation to birth, she drove three hours for her prenatal appointments. She’s now living in Laurel County but lived in Estill at the time of that first pregnancy.
Already a doula, Browning told the Kentucky Lantern that she is in midwifery school herself now “because women should not have to drive that far for care.”
“It’s definitely a need that we have here.”
Planned Parenthood Generation Action, a campus organization that champions sexual education and reproductive justice, is promoting the implementation of Plan B vending machines on campus.
Plan B, along with other morning-after contraception pills, is used to lower the chances of pregnancy due to unprotected sex. Pills can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex, but they are more effective when taken earlier.
After the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, which gave states the authority to ban or protect abortion, there has been a greater emphasis on emergency contraception. In the wake of the decision, many Americans stocked up on the morning-after pill to better control their reproductive futures.
Plan B vending machines are spreading across college campuses to provide around-the-clock, affordable access to emergency contraception.
“I got inspired by seeing a post on Instagram from Boston University where they had [implemented Plan B vending machines] and reached out for more information,” said Marley Levy ’24, PPGA member.
At Boston University, students spent five years advocating for contraception vending machines on campus. On March 1 the machine was unveiled with a price of $7.25 for Plan B, compared to most retailers that charge $40 to $50.
Through conversations with Cornell Health, PPGA decided to collect survey responses on perspectives towards a Plan B vending machine.
“The survey’s purpose was to gain responses from the community to gauge the need for the machines, price points, where they should go and what should be in them,” Levy said.
While Cornell Health offers emergency contraception, their restricted hours limit access, especially considering emergency contraception is more effective when taken earlier. Furthermore, off-campus pharmacies are not always convenient.
PPGA is working to provide an option where students feel comfortable purchasing emergency contraception.
“I want to assure the community that we are putting thought into the location and understand the desire for a location that is accessible but feels private,” said Levy.
Megan Edwards ’26 said that a Plan B vending machine would be a valuable campus resource.
“I think that a Plan B vending machine on campus is a great idea,” said Edwards. “It would help students worry less about accessibility and time to access emergency contraception.”
Sophie Meng ’26 said that Plan B vending machines promote reproductive choice.
“I think giving students easier access to emergency contraception is a good idea because everyone should be able to choose how they want to handle their unique situation,” Meng said.
Cornell Health had previously considered implementing emergency contraceptive machines on campus but found difficulty gaining adequate funding. PPGA is exploring various possibilities to raise funds.
“In the grand scheme of things, we wouldn’t need an astronomical amount to put our plans into action,” Levy said.
However, Levy said that the University’s strong response to Roe v. Wade proves that reproductive justice is valued on campus.
“I believe that the funding of [Plan B vending machines] would be the University caring for its students,” Levy said.
THIS is the exact time you will find out if an emergency blackout plan will take place and how much you could be paid.
It comes as the National Grid decided not to trigger an emergency blackout plan tomorrow, which would have seen Brits potentially being paid to turn off their energy.
Earlier today, it was said that the emergency electricity plan could be activated for the first time with supplies tight due in part to problems in the French energy grid.
The demand flexibility service (DFS) scheme, has already been tested twice in the last two weeks but has not yet been run for a live event.
National Grid decided today to not issue the notice to suppliers and households.
But in the future, households will be offered up to £100 by their energy provider if they cut their use at peak times.
The National Grid ESO previously told The Sun the £100 saving is based on households receiving £3 for every kilowatt-hour during the 12 test demonstrations.
The figure represents the electricity reductions the network thinks a typical household might be able to save.
But the exact saving, and how it is distributed to households, will depend on the individual energy suppliers.
Under the DFS scheme, National Grid will pay energy firms rather than households directly to cut power demand in a number of ways.
Households which have signed up to the programme in advance will get a message asking them to turn off appliances at a certain time in exchange for £3 per kilowatt-hour saved.
This could be by stopping running the washing machine or dishwasher until the supply crunch has eased.
If the £3 is fully passed on by the suppliers to customers, that implies payments of up to £20 for each day when requested by National Grid.
Those taking part will be able to earn money for switching off their appliances during peak times amid blackout warnings.
Households can sign up - but only if they have a working smart meter, which means the millions that don't have one, or have issues with theirs, won't be able to apply.
People are being encouraged to sign up with their electricity supplier so they can get money back on their bills.
Those participating through the programme will be sent a message from the network if there is increased pressure on the system.
To qualify, energy usage would need to be reduced in peak times such as 9am to 11am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
Customers will typically be notified via text message which days and exact times they can earn cash by reducing their usage.
Suppliers don't have to take part in the scheme, but British Gas, EDF, EON and Octopus have signed up for it.
The emergency blackout could have coincided with the England v Wales World Cup clash.
It comes as the nation is battling a crippling energy crisis, partly due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
It is hoped that by paying people to charge their electric cars at off-peak times and firing up backup coal plants it can offset the risk of outages.
Certain "protected sites" like hospitals, food manufacturers, oil refineries, some ports, financial services, essential water and sewerage installations, major airports and digital and telecommunication services may not experience blackouts.
Plans to build a new $7 billion Terminal 2 at O’Hare Airport took a big step forward last week — a sign that’s potentially good for Chicago and the world’s air travelers.
The current domestic terminal, built in the 1960s, would be razed and replaced with a larger facility built for international flights as well.
And rather than being a pass-through between travel points, officials promise the new global terminal will be a destination itself, designed to feel like a neighborhood with shops, restaurants and a central space for gathering, live music and events.
That’s quite a change from the current workaday Terminal 2, but this is where major airports are headed these days.
And the multibillion-dollar construction project is a potential boon for Chicago on the jobs and economic front.
Change is needed. This is an important move for Chicago to make.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other officials announced the latest developments in the terminal modernization plan last Monday at O’Hare.
The project got the green light after a four-year Federal Aviation Administration environmental impact study found the effort would have no significant negative impact on its surroundings or O’Hare’s architecture.
“Chicago’s transportation infrastructure is what makes this city an economic powerhouse of global importance,” Buttigieg said.
“Now, as we prepare to break ground on O’Hare’s latest terminal, Chicago and this entire region will be positioned to grow and create good-paying jobs through the benefits of first-rate infrastructure, beginning with the construction project itself,” he said.
From a functional standpoint, we like the idea that domestic and international flights will be combined in the new terminal.
That means many travelers looking to make those connections will no longer have to catch the People Mover to or from Terminal 5, which services international flights — a timesaver for sure.
At 2.2 million square feet, the new terminal’s space would rival that of the 60-story Chase Tower downtown and would be almost twice the size of the current facility.
With all that space, we share the concerns expressed by the organization Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago that the new terminal’s escalator-rich design — as shown in the original renderings made public in 2019 — could provide unnecessary barriers and pinch points for those with mobility issues.
“If Chicago wants the new global terminal to be a statement about Chicago to the world, while allowing global and domestic tourists to experience the culture, traditions and diversity of Chicago, that should include incorporating universal design principles so that people understand no one is left out in Chicago,” Access Living’s transportation policy analyst Laura Saltzman told us.
All that space is room enough to do a lot of good, if designed correctly. And there’s time enough between now and the start of construction in 2026 to make sure that happens.
Construction would begin with a pair of new satellite concourses that will ultimately link to the new terminal. The concourses will provide about 1.3 million square feet of gate and amenity space.
The new construction will “dramatically expand the airport’s ability to accommodate aircraft of all sizes,” Lightfoot said. “This is a big deal for us.”
Terminal 2 demolition is set to start in 2026, and the new global facility will be operating in 2030, officials said.
The new global terminal and concourses are part of a larger $12.1 billion O’Hare 21 capital improvement plan announced in 2019 under Mayor Rahm Emanuel that’s bringing new runways and access to the airport from the west.
Compared with the better airports of the world, such as Changi in Singapore — or even New York’s recently revamped LaGuardia — O’Hare falls behind. It’s time to catch up.
If Chicago is to consider itself a world-class city, having a travel-friendly, functional, showcase international airport is key. Here’s to the project taking flight.
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