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Article updated: 7/17/2013 5:31 PM

South Barrington ready for village hall expansion

By Eric Peterson

South Barrington trustees will meet Thursday night to discuss and vote on a proposed construction contract for the long-planned expansion of village hall.

Village Administrator Mark Masciola said the proposed $2.08 million contract with Leopardo Companies Inc. of Hoffman Estates is consistent with long-held cost estimates for the project.

Work is expected to begin in early August and last through March, Masciola said.

Former Village President Frank Munao, who continues to serve as South Barrington's emergency management coordinator, oversaw much of the project's design which was largely complete in 2010.

Some of the issues that caused delays -- particularly water detention on the site -- still remain, Munao said. But the project is now planned to begin under the expectation that those issues will be resolved by the time they would affect construction, he added.

A permit from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District will still be needed to finish the project, even if not to start it, Munao said.

"I think the technical part of the project is well enough along," he said. "I just can't comment on the legal part."

Masciola said he anticipates the MWRD permit to be in hand in about a month.

"I think we're very close to finalizing everything we need to receive that permit," he said. "We're very excited to be able to initiate the project."

Village President Paula McCombie said she too hopes Thursday's 7 p.m. special meeting of the village board will be the start of the long-awaited expansion.

The project envisions an 11,000-square-foot addition to bring the 29-year-old building at 30 S. Barrington Road to about 18,000 square feet. The addition will be built with current village funds and won't require more land or a tax-hike referendum.

The expansion won't have a significant impact on the front, upper level of the two-story building. But the police department will move completely to the lower level, allowing the village administration to take over the entire upstairs.

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

The police department will convert the current meeting room into a training facility and temporary headquarters for emergency operations.

The department's prisoner holding room will be improved, but officers will continue the current policy of moving prisoners to a different off-site facility for overnight incarcerations.

While it's unclear whether it will be necessary to relocate meetings at any point during construction, an agreement has been reached with Willow Creek Community Church to hold meetings there if needed, Masciola said.

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