Chamber receives expansion

Adam Larck
Workers help install a new sign at the Morton Chamber of Commerce building.

A new meeting area, office and more are part of the new Morton Chamber of Commerce expansion.

The new additions to the chamber and economic development council offices were shown off recently after work was completed last October.

Chamber director Jennifer Daly said the need for expansion arose after they had used every available room in the previous office. A coat closet had a computer in it, there was no space for interns and Ally Schoenbein had no office to work in.

At the same time these needs arose, the building next door also became available.

“We knew the space would be available about a year ago, and our board knew that they needed to do something,” Daly said.

However, the board didn’t immediately settle on expanding next door. They also looked at various buildings downtown and in other parts of the community.

Daly said the board eventually decided on an expansion rather than a move because of the parking that was already available and the extra space the place has that the chamber needed.

“The other thing that is unique here that is really beneficial to us is the storage and overhead doors in the back of these spaces,” Daly said. “We have a lot of equipment and a lot of storage needs that a lot of office spaces can’t accommodate.”

The overhead doors help to store a lot of Pumpkin Festival items until September.

After the decision was made late last spring to do an expansion, Daly said work was started immediately to try and finish before the busy Pumpkin Festival season.

“We had hoped to get everything done before Pumpkin Fest,” she said. “We knew we would have to stop everything by Aug. 1 because once August is here, it gets very chaotic.”

By that deadline, the new side was finished and ready to use. However, some changes still needed to be done to the original side.

Those changes were wrapped up by October, after Pumpkin Fest was over.

“They didn’t have a whole lot to do on the previous side,” Daly said.

Overall, the expansion added a conference room, two intern stations and a kitchen. It also increased the size of previous offices to allow for smaller meetings to be held there.

The major conference room now also has a pair of Morton signs hanging over the entrance that were custom made.

Daly said that a few small things are still being waited on, such as signs and chairs.

“I think this space will be what we need for quite a long time,” she said.