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updated: 7/22/2014 5:31 AM

Barrington White House renovation project approved

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  • Video: White House renovation

  • A groundbreaking ceremony for the Barrington White House renovation will be held at noon today at 145 W. Main St.

      A groundbreaking ceremony for the Barrington White House renovation will be held at noon today at 145 W. Main St.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2013


The Barrington village board approved the final fiscal plan for the Barrington White House renovation Monday night, less than 24 hours before organizers will break ground on the $6.1 million project.

The village's plan will convert the 116-year-old building, located at 145 W. Main St., into a cultural and community center.

Beth Raseman, project coordinator, said organizers have raised more than $4 million through large donations and grants. Raseman said she is confident they will raise all of the money for the project.

"We are definitely going to fund for all of the cost of the project," Raseman told reporters after the regular board meeting at the village hall.

The $6.1 million price tag is the first official project cost associated with the renovations. The cost includes a 10 percent contingency, or approximately $610,000.

Pepper Construction, headquartered in Barrington, will see the renovations through from start to finish. Chet Busse, a senior project manager at Pepper, said he is excited to be able to start the job very soon.

"I have the easy job with the construction of it," Busse said. "Getting it to this point is the hard work."

Once complete, the first floor will retain its original configuration and serve as a gathering area for events or offer showrooms for artistic presentations. The second floor will house offices for local nonprofit agencies that will pay rent to the village.

The third floor will be converted to a ballroom -- its original use -- capable of hosting an event for 150 people.

Raseman said now that the renovations are beginning, organizers will begin to make a greater emphasis on getting the word out to the community. Raseman said that the response they have received from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. She said that at open house events, residents opened up their wallets and donated cash to the project on the spot.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the White House at noon today.

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