St. James Farm poised to get water, sewer improvements

  • DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners will decide Tuesday whether to hire a construction company to install the infrastructure needed to bring water and sanitary services to St. James Farm Forest Preserve near Warrenville.

    DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners will decide Tuesday whether to hire a construction company to install the infrastructure needed to bring water and sanitary services to St. James Farm Forest Preserve near Warrenville. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 5/15/2017 8:20 AM

Work is set begin on a $2.9 million project to bring water and sewer to St. James Farm Forest Preserve near Warrenville, improvements needed for historic buildings at the site to be opened to the public.

DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a roughly $2.75 million contract with Airy's, Inc., to install the infrastructure needed to connect the farm to Wheaton's water distribution system and Wheaton Sanitary District's sanitary collection system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The board also is expected to vote on a contract with Strand Associates that will pay the company $160,000 to perform the day-to-day construction observation and documentation for the project.

The forest preserve district bought St. James Farm from philanthropist and conservationist Brooks McCormick in 2000 for $43 million. It took possession of the more than 600 acres along Winfield Road after McCormick's death in 2006.

While the property is open to forest preserve users, residents aren't able to spend time inside the historic buildings, including stables and an indoor horse riding arena.

Getting municipal water will allow for needed life-safety improvements so the buildings can be made available to the public.

Work could begin later this month or in early June; the project is expected to be completed by next April.

The preserve will remain open during construction, but portions of the farm will be closed for short periods during installation of water and sewer mains.

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