Historic Morton Village Hall will get a $205,000 makeover. Here's what's updating
MORTON — Village officials are confident residents and others who visit Village Hall in a few months will give their stamp of approval to the new-look lobby.
Lobby renovations costing slightly more than $205,000 began late last year and will continue until at least April. In the meantime, the lobby in the building at 120 N. Main St. is closed to the public.
Craig Loudermilk, Morton's public works director, and Mayor Jeff Kaufman say the approximately 250-square-foot lobby is getting a much-needed update while keeping its historic charm.
"I love our Village Hall building. It's so appropriate for it to have a Main Street address," Loudermilk said. "But the lobby really needed to be modernized and made more accessible for the public."
"Besides being more modern, the lobby will be safer for everyone and more user-friendly," Kaufman said.
Village Hall is the former Morton Post Office. The building was constructed in 1937. After a new Morton Post Office was built at 600 W. Jefferson St. in 1976, the former post office became Village Hall in 1980.
Until the renovation, the Village Hall lobby was original to the post office except for the construction of a wall and conference room in a space where there used to be post office boxes.
Kaufman said the lobby work, which has been discussed for about four years, is part of a larger plan to eventually expand Village Hall. It's possible bids for that project could be considered this fall.
About a dozen village employees work at Village Hall, and the mayor's office is there, too. Two full-time village employees and one part-time village employee work in the windowless basement.
"We want to keep Village Hall downtown, and it's more economical to stay where we are than build a new building," Kaufman said.
After Village Hall reopens to the public, visitors will find a front counter in the lobby that's Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible and protected with bulletproof glass. A conversation with a village employee will be possible despite the safety measure.
"It will be a pleasant experience," Loudermilk said.
The wooden vestibule that separates the outer doors of Village Hall from the lobby will remain, and it will be added to the area that is now heated. The woodwork around the door at the mayor's office also will stay put. The terrazzo floor will be restored and cleaned.
"That terrazzo floor has and will withstand the test of time," Loudermilk said.
A new employee-access control system will be installed in the building. It's the same system in use at the Morton Police Station.
The Village Board ran a competitive bidding process for the large-scale work, awarding the work to the lowest bidder, Peoria Metro Construction, for $137,000. Proposals were also accepted for other furnishings and work, and the board approved three agreements:
- Beyond Interior Design (Morton): $47,222 for countertops, trim work and cabinets.
- Tech Electronics of Illinois (Bloomington): $16,500 for the employee-access control system.
• Mid-State Terrazzo & Tile (Peoria): $4,300 for the terrazzo floor restoration work.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.