Barrington Hills OKs plan for church near routes 25 and 62

The Bridge Church of Algonquin is preparing for a growing future after gaining approval to construct a multipurpose building on 44 acres in Barrington Hills.

However, Senior Pastor Todd Berge said Tuesday that construction could be three or more years away, because the church needs to raise money to pay for the planned building along Route 25 just south of Route 62.

The church, affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America, began with about 120 members in Algonquin in September 2014. It now has roughly 300 members attending Saturday night and Sunday morning services at Algonquin Middle School on Longwood Drive.

"It does give us more opportunity to serve and to lead," Berge said of the planned building.

Barrington Hills trustees voted 7-0 last week to give the church a special-use permit for a religious institution on the site. The Bridge plans a two-story building with 32,328 square feet on the ground floor and 12,276 on the upper level.

Barrington Hills officials agreed the church plan was preferable to potentially seeing the land disconnected from the village and brought into a bordering town for a more intense development.

Berge said the planned facility would be in a location to conveniently serve Barrington Hills residents and those nearby in Carpentersville and Algonquin. The church intends to build relationships with schools, police and other entities in the villages and allow the building to be used by others through community partnerships, he added.

"We see the building as not just a church building," Berge said.

Documents show the church will pay $650,000 for the 44 acres. Berge said the purchase should close in a few weeks.

Former Barrington Hills Trustee Harold "Skip" Gianopulos spoke in favor of the church's proposal before it gained the board's approval. He noted how 145 acres disconnected from Barrington Hills now is part of the controversial Plum Farms mixed-use development in Hoffman Estates.

"I'm coming to this board asking you to help protect our borders," Gianopulos said.

In 2009, Barrington Hills lost its case in an Illinois appeals court to block the disconnection of the 145 acres from the southeast corner of the village. Barrington Hills has a more restrictive a 5-acre minimum for residential lots than Hoffman Estates.

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Barrington Hills trustees have granted a special-use permit to The Bridge Church of Algonquin that will allow it to build a multipurpose building along Route 25, just south of Route 62. Charles Keeshan/CKEESHAN@DAILYHERALD.COM
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