The lobby and staff offices on the main floor of Brookfield Village Hall are about to get a major facelift, a project that will force the temporary relocation of employees and may make a visit to village hall a little more complicated.
On Nov. 24, the Brookfield Village Board voted to award a $157,200 construction contract to Willowbrook-based Troop Contracting Inc., which was the lowest of eight bidders for the work, according to Village Manager Keith Sbiral.
The board voted unanimously to separately award a contract in the amount of $2,500 for architectural services to Chicago-based Grund & Riesterer Architects Inc. Charles Grund, the chairman of the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission, is a principal in that firm.
Demolition inside village hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., is expected to begin later this month, Sbiral said, with construction expected to take about 6-8 weeks to complete. While the village could stage the construction in order to keep a service window in the lobby open, he said that would simply extend the construction time.
Instead, Sbiral said, officials are going to bite the bullet and allow the contractor access to the entire construction area at one time.
“It’s going to be disruptive no matter what we do,” he said.
As a result, Sbiral will set up a temporary village hall elsewhere in the building. Possible locations for service areas include the back of the courtroom/council chamber, the lower level of the building or the lobby.
The purpose of the office remodeling project, said Sbiral, is to create an efficient service area where residents and contractors can obtain permits, make payments and get questions answered. In addition, the rabbit warren of offices and work spaces will be opened up and made more appealing for employees, he said.
“The main purpose is to create an efficient way to deal with customers.”
To that end, the front desk will be one unified window where two people can work at the same time. Currently, there’s a window for the building department and a small reception window separated by a doorway.
Earlier this year, Sbiral changed the way clerical employees worked by cross-training them to be able to handle multiple kinds of requests. That allowed someone who could handle, for example, questions about vehicle stickers, water bills or building permits to be on duty at all times.
The present split-window setup is also confusing and not particularly inviting to people coming into village hall.
Office areas behind the unified front window will be opened up and unified as well, with work stations separated by filing systems that are easily accessible. The room that houses computer servers will be turned into a small conference room. A new, smaller computer server room will be created and will be secure.
A couple of restrooms and a small kitchen will get updates in the remodel.