Don't bet on plan to renovate Wauconda village hall

  • Wauconda Deputy Clerk Sherry Davies works at her desk just inside the front door of the village hall. A proposal to renovate Wauconda's village hall to make room for the community development staff likely won't move forward.

      Wauconda Deputy Clerk Sherry Davies works at her desk just inside the front door of the village hall. A proposal to renovate Wauconda's village hall to make room for the community development staff likely won't move forward. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • A proposal to renovate Wauconda's village hall at 101 N. Main St. likely won't move forward.

      A proposal to renovate Wauconda's village hall at 101 N. Main St. likely won't move forward. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Wauconda's community development and utility billing offices are housed 109 W. Bangs St., around the corner from the village hall.

      Wauconda's community development and utility billing offices are housed 109 W. Bangs St., around the corner from the village hall. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Wauconda's community development and utility billing offices are at 109 W. Bangs St., in a separate building near the village hall on Main Street.

      Wauconda's community development and utility billing offices are at 109 W. Bangs St., in a separate building near the village hall on Main Street. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted2/10/2020 5:34 AM

A proposal to renovate Wauconda's village hall to make room for the community development staff likely won't move forward.

The building, at 101 N. Main St., simply doesn't have enough space for that kind of consolidation, officials said after studying the proposal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It is a tight squeeze," Village Administrator Kevin Timony said.

Located at 109 W. Bangs St., around the corner from village hall, the community development department oversees all building construction in Wauconda. Its three full-time employees and one part-timer -- along with contracted plumbing and electrical inspectors -- ensure work complies with building and zoning codes.

If you need a building permit, want to talk with a village representative about zoning issues or have a question about redeveloping property in town, this is the department to visit.

The roughly 5,000-square-foot, 1970s-era village hall contains offices for the mayor, village administrator, village clerk and some village employees, as well as a boardroom and a smaller conference room.

Moving the community development department to village hall would allow someone to ask questions, get paperwork and pay for permits all in one place, rather than shuttling between neighboring buildings.

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"The goal is to streamline customer service and staffing efficiency by having community development and village hall services all handled from one facility," Timony said.

Architects with Kluber Inc. -- a firm with offices in Chicago, Batavia and Bloomington -- were hired to come up with two interior renovation designs. The renovation, if completed, could have cost $604,000 to $833,000, depending on materials and other factors, Timony said.

Wauconda's village services committee reviewed Kluber's concepts last week. The consensus among officials is that village hall isn't large enough to handle the extra bodies.

"Even with the renovations ... we would still be very tight on space," said Trustee Adam Schlick, who leads the committee.

Additionally, the renovation plans that were drafted were based on current staffing levels. If the village staff needs to grow in the future, the building wouldn't have space for the extra workers, Schlick said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The architects were paid $15,000 for developing the plans and for a related space assessment report. Schlick was grateful for their efforts.

"They did the best with the parameters we gave them and gave us a realistic concept and cost outlook," he said.

Although the plan's future isn't promising, Timony isn't quite ready to throw it on the trash pile. Additional discussion is expected in March or April after committee members have had time to digest the material, he said.

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