Novak Construction Breaks Ground at By The Hand Club For Kids

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Saturday, October 5th for a middle school addition to By The Hand Club For Kids and partner, Moving Everest Charter School. Novak Construction and Team A Architecture were present to celebrate the start of construction- building new 6-8th grade classrooms and completing this K-8 Charter in Chicago’s Austin Neighborhood.

The Novak team joined By The Hand Club For Kids Executive Director, Donnita Travis, local students and dignitaries, including Alderman Emma Mitts and Congressman Danny Davis, at 416 N. Laramie Ave, Chicago, to mark the groundbreaking of this project that is slated for completion in the summer of 2020.

The building addition includes the construction of a new multi-purpose space, computer lab, STEM lab, and middle school classrooms.  The existing building will undergo kitchen and gym modifications.  A new large rubberized hardscape will offer the children an outdoor place to learn and grow.

“We are thrilled to have our third project underway with By The Hand Club For Kids,” says John Novak, President of Novak Construction.  “We take great pride in our partnership with a program that does so much good.  By The Hand is measurably improving the lives of local at-risk children, and that brings a sense of urgency and meaning to our role as their general contractor.”

By The Hand is a faith-based, after-school program founded in 2001 with 16 children in Cabrini-Green. It now serves more than 1,500 kids at 5 facilities, grades K-12, in four of Chicago’s most under-resourced neighborhoods: Cabrini-Green, Altgeld Gardens, Englewood and Austin. By The Hand is looking to serve nearly 2,000 students by the year 2020.

Celebrating 39 years, Novak Construction (, founded by John Novak in 1980, is a top tier, nationally-recognized General Contractor and Construction Management firm known for its well-rounded portfolio and many projects in the retail, and multi-family/mixed-use, senior living, industrial, corporate and institutional sectors. Novak Construction has consistently been named as one of Chicago’s Top General Contractors and is the recipient of AIA Chicago’s Design Excellence Award – General Contractor for its By The Hand Club for Kids project.