Hampshire Township has taken a step closer to building new office digs nearby.
Last week, the Hampshire village board changed the zoning of the vacant land on Mill Street. This paves the way for the township to construct a 3,000-square-foot building that will hold the supervisor's office, the assessor's office, a new senior center and still have room for board meetings and community use.
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"We're tired of renting and we're trying to get a senior center here for Hampshire," said Hampshire Township Highway Commissioner Stan Walker, one of the project's point people. "We think it would be good for the community."
For the last 10 years, the supervisor and assessor have rented space in a building at 193 N. State St. that also houses two apartments upstairs.
Hampshire Township Supervisor Darwin Conro said space is so cramped that board meetings need to be held off site at a maintenance building at 100 Center St.
The new structure would be on 170 Mill Street, two blocks west of the current facility.
The township has saved $350,000 toward the building, but officials won't know whether that's enough until the project gets its construction costs next Tuesday, Walker said.
"We're definitely not going to go for a referendum, but if it does come over budget we'd have to borrow some money for a year and pay it back. But we're hoping we don't have to (borrow money)," Walker said.
Grant Currier, of Orland Park-based LindenGroup Architects who is designing the building, says there will be room for expansion. The one-story building with a pitched gable roof offers a contemporary design that's still meant to blend in with the existing streetscape, he said. Off-street parking also will be available.
The land was previously zoned as residential property, but the Hampshire village board changed it last Thursday to accommodate the new office space, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said.
Construction is expected to start in May and to end by October.