Buffalo Grove looking toward new public works building

 
Posted8/11/2018 1:00 AM
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  • The Buffalo Grove Public Services Building is on Raupp Boulevard. The village is taking steps toward moving to a new site that will solve space and efficiency problems.

      The Buffalo Grove Public Services Building is on Raupp Boulevard. The village is taking steps toward moving to a new site that will solve space and efficiency problems. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • The Village of Buffalo Grove Public Services Building is on Raupp Boulevard. The village is taking steps toward moving to a new site that will solve space and efficiency problems.

      The Village of Buffalo Grove Public Services Building is on Raupp Boulevard. The village is taking steps toward moving to a new site that will solve space and efficiency problems. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • The Village of Buffalo Grove Public Services Building is on Raupp Boulevard. The village is taking steps toward moving to a new site that will solve space and efficiency problems.

      The Village of Buffalo Grove Public Services Building is on Raupp Boulevard. The village is taking steps toward moving to a new site that will solve space and efficiency problems. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

Buffalo Grove's public works building dates back to a time when people played cassette tapes in their cars, watched a handful of channels on free TV and used pay phones rather than cellphones to make sudden calls while on the go.

Now the village is taking steps toward moving to a new site that will solve space and efficiency problems.

Anyone who visits the building on Raupp Boulevard across from village hall during the daytime would likely notice public works vehicles parked on the street.

"The biggest issue with the facility is space, specifically in the yard and the garage," Buffalo Grove Deputy Village Manager Jennifer Maltas said in an interview.

"It basically takes them a half-hour in the morning and a half-hour at the end of the day to move around all of the trucks and vehicles to get them to have the right space in the garage. So we're losing an hour every day of production time. It really needs to be twice the size of what it is."

The village's capital improvement plan calls for the board to spend $5 million in 2019 for land acquisition, planning and engineering to move public works from its current site, which it has occupied since 1976, to a new site. The plan estimates $25 million in costs for 2020 for construction programmed and $2 million in 2021.

But at this point, these are placeholder numbers at best. Maltas said there would be further discussion at a committee of the whole meeting before there is any movement to proceed toward replacing the building.

Expanding the current building seems out of the question. It would likely mean closing Church Road, the road leading from St. Mary Parish, which passes by the Manchester Green subdivision, the police station and the parking lot to the Buffalo Grove Golf Club.

The village staff is investigating relocation options. It has been working with Wold Architects, which is putting together potential options for facilities and locations, as well as the needs associated with them.

"Traditionally, a lot of public works departments are located in more industrial districts," Maltas said, adding that the village is looking at options in those areas, including a property owned by ComEd. She added that the village has received interest in a possible space-sharing arrangement.

"It's either trying to find something else or build something else," village President Beverly Sussman said in an interview. "The only thing we do know is that it's a number one priority and that we really have to do something to get it to work to its maximum, because right now, they are having so many problems."

Relocation would leave the door open for the redevelopment of the present public works site, something that is envisioned in the village's Lake-Cook Corridor Plan, which also shows village hall and the police station relocated to the area around the Town Center.

"When the village first incorporated, the location of all these facilities made sense here," Maltas said. "But now we're not centralized in any way in the community … . And now we're situated on the most trafficked road in Cook County, and obviously the land has more potential as other types of uses, versus the municipal use."

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