Dist. 220 boss says relocated central office won't be 'glitz and glamour'

Cost is expected to be an issue when Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members address spending up to $1 million on interior renovations of a building where the administration headquarters is expected to relocate later this year.

If a closing goes through as expected Wednesday, District 220 will move from a residential neighborhood in Barrington to property PepsiCo Inc. most recently used for its Gatorade division. The school board in February voted to spend $1.1 million for the office building at 515 W. Main St., across from Barrington High School.

Superintendent Brian Harris said officials don't want to spend more than an estimated $1 million to make the building suitable for district operations. Construction of a secure entrance, new carpeting, the building of false walls in open areas and fresh paint are among the possible needs for the 20,000-square-foot structure, he said.

"We're not looking to make this the glitz-and-glamour central office," he said during a recent school board facilities committee session. "This is going to be a practical environment."

Board member Joseph Ruffolo, who sits on the advisory facilities committee, said there is "some negativity" among other elected officials regarding the potential costs and getting the work done this year. But he said it would be disruptive to headquarters employees if additional remodeling occurs after they move in.

"Then, what are you doing?" Ruffolo said. "Instead of paying dollars up front to get everything done, you're going to pay productivity dollars. Instead of paying people to do their job, you're going to pay them to put stuff in boxes, move things around. Then, when they need something, they can't find it for two weeks."

As part of the process, Lombard-based architect Gregory Stahler said design concepts will be created for the building before bids on the work are sought, most likely in late July or August. Facilities committee members will review the conceptual drawings and a potential timeline for the proposed project at a May 30 meeting before the matter eventually goes before the entire District 220 board.

Harris said District 220's central office at 310 James St. has become a negative asset. A lack of parking and work space are among the building's deficiencies, officials say.

Vacant for a few years, PepsiCo's former Gatorade offices are expected to provide more space for administration employees in addition to room for large gatherings of educators for professional development and more parking, district officials said.

District 220 to pay $1.1 million for new headquarters

District 220 ready to close on building for new administration headquarters

  Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials are moving their headquarters from this James Street location to the former PepsiCo Gatorade offices across from Barrington High School. Bob Susnjara/
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