Mundelein approves $10.4M village hall
BY RICK KAMBIC firstname.lastname@example.org February 4, 2013 5:32PM
Mundelein Village Administrator John Lobaito (left) and Steve Clough of Weston Solution Inc. at the site of the new Mundelein village hall, which hit a construction delay this month. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Projected construction timeline
Site work: starts March; ends November
Foundation pour: starts April; ends June
Exterior/interior frame: starts June; ends December
Interior finishes: starts December; ends June 2014
Final inspection: starts June; ends October 2014
Updated: March 6, 2013 6:18AM
For 25 years, the village of Mundelein was hesitant to build a new headquarters. Trustees changed that last week by financially committing to a new village hall that will anchor a redeveloped downtown.
Architects and project managers from Weston Solutions presented their mandated “not to exceed” price to the village board for approval. Preliminary reports estimated $10 million for the project. But Weston offered a $10.4 million estimate during last week’s meeting.
“The proposal includes a $500,000 contingency plan that most likely won’t all be used,” Village Administrator John Lobaito said.
Trustees unanimously approved the proposal with an emphasis on Weston working wisely so the contingency money won’t be needed.
The new village hall will be built on a 10-acre lot off Hawley Street near the Metra station that used to be an industrial warehouse. Now that all remnants of the warehouse are removed and roads and utility work has begun, Weston intends to start constructing the village hall site in March.
Village hall will take one of six lots that eventually join to circle a courtyard. The facility will also be built into a hill and have both first floor and second floor entrances.
After last week’s vote, several trustees said they were relieved to finally have the project underway and pleased that it’s already funded, without asking voters for a tax increase.
Of the $10.4 million, Mundelein has already paid Weston $850,000 for architectural work so far, as well as several small utility expenses — leaving a remainder of $9.2 million.
Lobaito’s said he believes Weston will use half that contingency fund, dropping the bill to about $9 million.
Mundelein was praised throughout Lake County for leasing the second floor of its building. Weston Solutions agreed to lease that space for 7 years. Lobaito said those payments amount to $2 million, which will go toward paying for this project.
Mundelein will use reserve money to cover the remaining $7 million.
Lobaito said the village has a capital development fund that accrues money from fees charged each time a new building or house is built. The fund has not grown since the recession of 2008, but Lobaito said $3 million was saved up until that point.
“Money from the capital development fund can only be used for fire equipment or new village buildings that house resident-oriented services,” Lobaito said. “A village hall does that.”
The remaining $4 million, Lobaito said, will be paid for using general fund savings.
“We tighten our belt every year and squirrel money away,” Lobaito said. “Even when we don’t need to tighten our belt we do so anyway because we should be improving and getting more efficient at what we do.”
Weston has already been given one of the remaining five lots, which company officials said they intend to commercially develop. If they deliver village hall on time and under the $10.4 million approved price, Lobaito said Weston will get an additional lot.
“It stimulates growth,” Lobaito said. “It’s a perfect non-financial bonus. That way, they work harder for us and develop out land for us at the same time.”
Village hall is expected to open in October 2014.