Lake County might relocate some sheriff's staff to Libertyville

 
 
Updated 3/12/2019 11:53 AM
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  • Lake County sheriff's officials say their headquarters in Waukegan is overcrowded, creating the need to build a separate facility being planned in Libertyville.

    Lake County sheriff's officials say their headquarters in Waukegan is overcrowded, creating the need to build a separate facility being planned in Libertyville. Daily Herald file Photo, 2017

  • Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg supports a plan to relocate some of his staff to Libertyville.

      Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg supports a plan to relocate some of his staff to Libertyville. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2018

Some Lake County sheriff's staff, including patrol deputies and detectives, would relocate to a new facility in Libertyville under a plan being developed by county officials.

The sheriff, top administrators and many other employees would remain at the current headquarters at 25 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. in Waukegan. Under state law, the sheriff must maintain his office in the county seat, which is Waukegan.

The county board on Tuesday voted to hire FGM Architects of Oak Brook to design a new consolidated public safety facility in Libertyville. The firm will be paid $522,813 for the task.

County officials envision a two-story, 44,000-square-foot building that would replace the sheriff's patrol substation at Milwaukee Avenue and Winchester Road in Libertyville. Built in 1997, that facility is home base for about 100 deputies and other employees.

The substation building has many shortcomings, sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.

"This facility has no space for community meetings. There is no lobby for the community to utilize when waiting to meet a sheriff's deputy," Covelli said. "There is no room to process arrestees for minor crimes, so they have to be transported to our headquarters in Waukegan."

Construction on the county campus where the substation stands is likely, documents indicate, but it wouldn't necessarily be built on the exact site of the current facility.

The move to Libertyville would create a regular work location for deputies, investigators and other sheriff's personnel that's more centrally located in the county.

It also would create more work space for the staff remaining at the Waukegan headquarters, which opened in 1986.

"We are bursting at the seams, having to turn closets and conference rooms into offices for staff to utilize," Sheriff John Idleburg said in a statement.

Officials hope to relocate employees who now work at the sheriff's headquarters but don't need to work near the adjoining county jail. That could include some command staff as well as the following divisions: highway patrol; criminal investigations; warrants, records; civil process; community service; and training.

Additionally, business office staffers who work in the basement of the county government building at 18 N. County St. would move to the sheriff's headquarters once space is freed up there, Covelli said.

"They used to be housed here, but we ran out of space and they had to be moved," he said.

County officials expect FGM Architects to deliver designs in August.

In a separate deal, the county board hired FGM to begin design work on a new 911 communications center on the Libertyville campus, likely in the new public safety facility. The work will be done at the same time as the work for the public safety project.

FGM will be paid $30,640 for that effort.

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