Eight golden shovels broke the ground for the new St. Jacob Village Hall on April 13.
“We’re excited to get a building that we can be very, very proud of,” said the St. Jacob Mayor Richard Scheifer.
The groundbreaking event started with a speech from Scheifer. He thanked all of the people who made the day possible and the citizens of St. Jacob, who make the community “a great place to live and raise children.” After the speech, shovels were picked up, and the ground was broken.
Those participating in the ceremony were Scheifer; four village trustees, Guideon Richeson George Gavlick, Bobby Ross, and Mark Eilers; the project architect, Bob Siergiej from Henderson Associates; the project general contractor, Mark Frey from Southwestern Construction Services Inc.; and Kim Swisher from the United States Department of Agriculture, who assisted the village with finding rural development funds.
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The current village hall was built in the 1800s. Village officials said a new facility is long overdue.
“We’re excited, because you look across the street (at the current village hall), and you can see the building needs a lot of repairs,” Scheifer said. “The building is not safe for people to work in really.”
Construction is planned to start, weather permitting, April 24, Frey said, and the completion date is expected to be about 240 days after the start date.
The new building will be located near the present village hall, which is located at the corner of 3rd and Douglas streets. The new hall plan, approved in December 2015, will be a ranch-syle building that coincide with standard energy code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Plans include handicap accessibility, private offices for the village clerk, building clerk, building inspector, police chief and mayor. Village staff also plans to add a garage so St. Jacob officers can have a space to park their vehicles. The new building will also have easily accessible council chambers.
St. Jacob received about $790,000 of federal funds toward the new village hall build. The funds came from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Community Development Initiative Grant made to support rural development in Illinois. Scheifer said that the village will be paying back the federal loan over the next 20 years.
Scheifer said that the new hall is apart of the village officials plan to further develop St. Jacob. He said that new subdivisions are being built and businesses keep improving. Fundraising is also in the works rehabilitating the village water tower and for refurbishing Douglas Street, the main street in the village.
Scheifer said village officials hope the improvements will bring more people to St. Jacob.