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updated: 9/12/2012 3:53 PM

South Barrington hoping to finally start village hall expansion

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Though delays continue to plague South Barrington's village hall expansion, Village President Frank Munao is holding out hope of seeing at least the project's foundation built later this fall.

"If we get a nice mild winter like we did last year, we can continue to work on the shell," he said Wednesday.

But even if the winter is too harsh to get much work done, a completed foundation could be covered and sufficiently protected from the elements, Munao said.

Plans to expand the building at 30 S. Barrington Road have been in the works for a few years, but it wasn't until this year that the village expected completion of the 11,000-square-foot addition.

However, new topographical challenges to the site -- mainly concerning its slope and proximity to a flood plain -- were discovered earlier this year, triggering more building regulations for the project.

It's not yet known how the issues, which have made the handling of water detention more problematic, will impact the cost of the project, originally estimated at $2.5 million to $3 million.

"We're finalizing the costs," Munao said.

But the expansion, which would enlarge the 28-year-old village hall to about 18,000 square feet, is still expected to be built with existing village funds and without the need for more land or a tax referendum.

The project won't greatly change the upper level of the two-story building, except that the police department will move to the lower level and allow village administration to spread out more.

The lower-level addition will include a new meeting hall for the village board and its advisory committees, as well as more office space.

The police department will take over all the existing lower-level space, converting it into a training room and temporary headquarters for emergency operations.

Only members of the public who attend village meetings in the evening would likely be affected by the project, as the meetings will be relocated to a still undetermined off-site facility.

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