Lakemoor village hall moving into new office space

Updated 10/13/2011 4:41 PM

Lakemoor Mayor Todd Weihofen joked that a huge party will take place when a wrecking ball knocks down the current village hall on Rand Road.

"Yes, it's really that bad," Weihofen said. "We have to turn off the heaters at village hall during board meetings in winter so we can hear each other."

The building, which is in a garage, is extremely drafty, not handicapped accessible, and the walls are "paper thin," he added

Because of that, village officials will move out of the 1940-era structure at 234 W. Rand Road starting Nov. 1 and into office space to the east on Rand Road, Weihofen said.

The new rented facility will be "open" to help residents as needed, officials said, but is not expected to be fully operational until Nov. 1.

Officials will spend the next several months discussing how to pay for and build a new village hall somewhere in the village.

"The repair costs to keep up this building is just too expensive," Weihofen said. "The cost to keep it going is mounting, so it's just time for something new."

Officials will have to decide whether to go out for referendum or pull money from the general fund to build a new village hall. No site has been selected.

"We have $700,000 saved for construction, and we expect a final cost $2.5 million on whatever we build," he said.

In the coming months, architects and engineers will be brought in to perform a feasibility study to determine if land must be purchased for a new hall, or if any village-owned land could be used for such a facility, he said.

The village board Thursday night was scheduled to consider whether to seek requests for proposals from consultants to assess village needs and to determine the feasibility of a joint village hall/police department building.

According to information provided to the board, the study should feature an evaluation of existing facilities including: operating costs, efficiencies and shortcomings; staffing needed to accommodate future growth; a comparison of a joint facility versus separate ones for the village and police; and, a preliminary cost estimate for new, leased or renovated facilities.

Staff Writer Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.

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