Frankfort officials agree on plan for new village admin building
By Susan DeMar Lafferty firstname.lastname@example.org October 15, 2013 6:38PM
Architect Mile Matthys of The Linden Group reviews one of four designs for an addition to Frankfort's administration center at U.S. 45 and Nebraska. The village recently purchased a 1.5 acre lot on that corner. | Susan DeMar Lafferty~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 17, 2013 6:33AM
After reviewing four designs for an expansion to the village administration center, Frankfort officials all agreed on one they liked.
While many details have yet to be tweaked, officials said during a recent committee meeting that they want the new structure at the southeast corner of U.S. 45 and Nebraska Street to be the “gateway” to the village’s historic downtown district.
The focal point will be a new 3,300-square-foot boardroom that anchors the corner, connected to the existing building by a new main entrance and lobby, and possibly additional office space.
The board room will be the “star of the show,” with seating for 160 and a deck overlooking a pond, said Grant Currier, vice president of The Linden Group, which is designing the expanded center.
The proposed plan also would incorporate a public plaza, paths, about 50 more parking spaces and public restrooms.
Frankfort trustees said they prefer one large meeting space that can be divided into two, rather than have two separate meeting rooms. But they also want to make sure that all parts of the building are publicly accessible, easy to reach from the expanded parking lots and proposed paths.
Some debated the need for a basement, which could add $450,000 to the cost, and additional office space.
The current design is about $4.5 million, and includes a 3,600-square-foot basement, 3,500 square feet of added office space, and $165,000 in renovations to the existing building at 432 W. Nebraska, but Mayor Jim Holland said they are “heading toward $5 million.”
The village has saved up for this project and plans to pay cash for it, incurring no debt.
“We don’t expect to put up something cheap on that corner,” Trustee Cindy Heath said, adding that she does not want it to be “pretentious.”
Currier said it is a “challenge” to blend in with the existing building.
“I want this place to be done right so we have enhanced the entire property,” Trustee Todd Morgan said.
Village officials have planned to build an addition with a new board meeting room since they sold their former meeting space, Heritage Hall, in January 2009. The board currently meets in the basement of the police station.