The Public Works facility located at 937 Barnsdale Road, was built in three stages. The oldest portion on the north end was built in 1953 and two additions were constructed in the 1960’s to accommodate the growing needs of our community. At the facility, the Public Works Department maintains 50 Village vehicles and several pieces of accessory equipment.
Over the years, the Village has considered several options in addressing the structural deficiencies of the older 1953 portion of the facility. One option the Village considered would have entirely removed the 1953 portion of the building while constructing a small adjacent facility that would house some central functions such as administration and vehicle storage. After carefully evaluating this plan, the Village concluded that projected costs were too high for the space created and beyond the amount available for the project.
While this plan did not meet with Village approval, it was clear to all involved that renovations were much needed and all avenues should be pursued to find an appropriate solution for the Public Works Garage renovation. In January 2012, the Village Board voted to accept three grants awarded through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, as part of the 2009 Illinois Jobs Now! Capital Bill. These grants provided $600,000 toward renovation of a new Public Works facility.
Ultimately, the Village Board decided to move forward with the project as a wholesale renovation of the building with a focus on existing structural deficiencies. The goal of the project was to extend the useful life of the building for twenty years or more. After approval, a competitive process was undertaken to select a general contractor. Leopardo Construction was awarded the contract for approximately 1 million dollars and construction began in late May of 2013.
Within the scope of the project, there were many areas that had been identified as needing remediation, retrofitting or replacement. A few of the major areas that needed to be addressed were things such as asbestos and lead removal, which was present throughout the building. Masonry repairs were needed to prevent future structural issues. The roof of the building needed to be replaced to give it a longer life cycle. All of the windows were rotted out and required replacement (25 total) along with three doors. In the basement, sealing was needed to certain window wells and walls. The project provided locker rooms with showers and additional storage areas. Additionally, the former locker room area for the first floor was converted into first floor offices. The window air conditioning units at the facility were old and very loud to the point that they often needed to be turned off during phone conversations. They also could not cool very well when temperatures reached into the nineties. In response to this, central air conditioning was installed as part of the project. Two other improvements that were made included rebuilding the extremely weathered entry vestibule and overhang and installation of fire sprinklers.
Leopardo Construction provided weekly construction reports beginning in early June and ending in early September. Each weekly report detailed what work had taken place that week and the progress that was being made, supported by photographs. While the work was being done, the Public Works Department was very limited in the space available for them to continue their day to day operations. Despite it being the Department’s busiest time of year, they were able to maintain the same level of service to residents throughout the renovation process. The photo gallery which can be linked to here, illustrates the degree to which the renovation was needed and the significant improvements that have been made to the facility. Leopardo Construction was successfully able to complete the project within the established timeframe and under budget.
In mid-October, the Village held a Ribbon-Cutting event at the Public Works facility that attracted local elected officials, former Public Works employees, Village Trustees and Village staff. Village President Discipio recognized the collaborative efforts of everyone involved and thanked the Public Works Garage Committee, the Village Board, staff and Leopardo Construction for their leadership and dedication to the project. As a result of this effort, the community now has a safe and modernized Public Works facility that will serve the Village for many years to come.