Makeover on tap for Midlothian Village Hall
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com August 2, 2012 10:49PM
Midlothian Trustee Vince Schavone talks about planned renovations to Village Hall Monday July 23, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 4, 2012 6:02AM
Sitting in the nearly regal village board room at Midlothian Village Hall, Trustee Vince Schavone said to a visitor, “It’s beautiful in here, right?”
But Schavone said that’s because the room doesn’t get much use — something that will change with a $229,000 building makeover expected to begin in late August and last for several months.
Money left over from a 2010 general obligation bond issue will pay for the renovations, Mayor Terry Stephens said.
Changes to the board room likely will be most visible to visitors to the village hall, 14801 Pulaski Road.
The board room, which takes up about half of village hall, will lose about one-third of its size, architect Rich De Boer said, making way for a conference room and office. Those cushy, movie theater-style seats for the public will be replaced by folding chairs, allowing the room to be used for community meetings, police training and other events. The board’s towering dais will be lowered and moved to the east side of the room.
The sprawling building also holds the fire and police departments, the latter of which underwent $92,000 worth of renovations two years ago.
Schavone, who was police chief at the time, said those renovations were cost-effective, saving the department $9,200 a year in personnel costs because part-timers for recordkeeping and clerk duties no longer are needed.
Schavone expects the village hall renovations to also improve employee efficiency.
A new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will save money because empty rooms won’t have to be heated or cooled.
“We can program the individual rooms based on their use,” De Boer said.
Energy-efficient lighting will cut lighting costs “by more than half,” he said.
Logistics came into play, too, such as a decision to move the building department closer to the front counter because so many people come in with questions about permits and licenses.
Also, Village Treasurer Denise Borne, who doubles as human resources manager, will get some needed privacy with a cubicle back where the building department has been located.
“The bad news is we have a human resources person talking to people in the middle of the office about confidential issues. It doesn’t flow,” Schavone said.
Borne said she looks forward “to having more breathing space” and not having employees whisper their problems to her.
Files now centrally located will be moved closer to their respective departments, as well.
“The mayor’s been talking about this since the renovation of the police department. He was very pleased how that came out,” Schavone said.
“This rearrangement of work space is the main thing,” Stephens said. “Efficiency. We’ve got more committees now and we have our attorney in house. But they need work space. So does the village administrator. We’re to the point of sharing desks. This is not cosmetics. It’s about function.”
The cost of the project was a concern, Schavone said.
“We are thrilled it came in under a quarter-million dollars,” he said.
“It’s not a great time to be spending a whole bunch of money,” De Boer said. “We want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. There’s no marble floors, but it will be a functional space for everyone.”
The general contractor is Hinsdale-based Loungs Corp.
During renovations, some village committee meetings will be held at the park district, library, village-owned Raday Lodge or a police department room, Schavone said.