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updated: 4/28/2015 6:18 PM

Three nonprofits commit to leases at Barrington White House

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  • Village officials this week approved two-year leases with three local nonprofit agencies to occupy office space in the renovated Barrington White House after the historic home reopens this summer. The tenants are Barrington Area Conservation Trust, Barrington Children's Charities and Let It Be Us.

      Village officials this week approved two-year leases with three local nonprofit agencies to occupy office space in the renovated Barrington White House after the historic home reopens this summer. The tenants are Barrington Area Conservation Trust, Barrington Children's Charities and Let It Be Us.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

Three local nonprofit organizations will be moving in to the Barrington White House this summer after the village board approved their lease agreements Monday night.

Barrington Area Conservation Trust, Barrington Children's Charities and Let It Be Us will move their operations to the second floor of the building, located at 145 W. Main St., as soon as August. All three signed two-year leases, with options to extend them for an additional two years.

Lisa Woolford, executive director of Barrington Area Conservation Trust, said it will be great for her organization to work alongside other nonprofits in the historic building.

"It's a beautiful property," Woolford said. "The whole vision for that office space was to support community nonprofit organizations, and we feel honored that we were considered for this property."

The Barrington Area Conservation Trust seeks to preserve open lands, natural resources, equestrian character, and scenic beauty for the Barrington communities.

The trust will occupy the largest of the three offices on the building's second floor. Woolford said the office will feature a small meeting room on the north side of the house overlooking Main Street.

Susan McConnel said when she started Let It Be Us last fall she didn't consider opening an office anywhere else.

"I knew that the White House will wrap her arms around those nonprofits," McConnel said.

Let It Be Us is dedicated to making life better for children in the foster care system by raising awareness and inspiring adoption.

McConnel said she believes their office space will be the smallest of the three. She has been running group's operations from her Barrington photography studio down the street at 110 East Main St.

Kirsten Baseley, a member of the executive board of Barrington Children's Charities, said the office space at the White House will be the first centralized location for the organization since it began about six years ago.

"It's going to be really nice to have a space that we can make a difference in," Baseley said.

The Barrington Children's Charities' mission is to serve local children in need. It's been operating out of the homes and offices of its executive board members.

For White House project coordinator Beth Raseman, whose job includes raising funds for the $6.1 million effort to renovate the 117-year-old former home, having the leases approved is another positive sign of progress.

"It feels great. It's kind of like all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together," Raseman said.

Raseman said the three organizations will occupy about 80 percent of the second floor. No more leases will be approved until after the building opens, she added.

The first floor of the house will serve as a gathering area for the community, and the third floor will be converted to a ballroom -- its original use -- capable of hosting 150 people.

Raseman said there will be a hard hat open house at the building over Memorial Day weekend, and a public opening on July 4.

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