CHICAGO-- Work is beginning on construction of a new building for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, following a ground-breaking ceremony today (Monday).
This is the place where U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) went when he had a stroke last year. At the ceremony today, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recalled the day Kirk returned to the Senate in January of this year.
“There are 45 steps that I’ll never forget, and my colleague in the Senate will never forget either. They’re the 45 steps from the ground up to the top to enter the United State Senate – steps taken by Sen. Mark Kirk after a terrible stroke, but after a miraculous recovery and rehab here at the Rehab Institute of Chicago,” he said.
Kirk says the facility was essential to his recovery. “Without this institution, I would not have climbed those 45 steps to the Senate door,” he said.
Kirk still uses a wheelchair or a cane.
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago was founded in 1951 by a doctor who had helped injured World War 2 veterans rehabilitate from their war wounds, and who now wanted to bring that type of medicine to civilians. The institute still treats injured service members and other with brain, spinal and traumatic injuries.
The building is scheduled to be completed in 2016. Cost: $550 million.