LOCAL NEWS

LaGrange offices, police are moving

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    Mike Kroupa, LaGrange maintenance staff member, shows an area of the old Keystone Middle School that will soon serve as the public entrance at the new location for the LaGrange Police Department.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

LAGRANGE — When the village offices open for business Monday morning, those offices will look quite different. Actually, they’ll be completely different as the location of the village administration offices and police station will have moved.

On Friday, the village of LaGrange closed its offices at 355 S. Center St. to move into the newly renovated offices at the old Keystone High School on Liberty Street.

Mayor Kim Strauss said the village employees have been working on the move over the past week by moving “bits and pieces” while keeping the village offices open. Friday, though, they closed things down with the goal of reopening Monday morning.

While the offices will be open, it’s likely to take a few weeks for the move to be complete.

“We’ll get the biggest things in there today, but we’re looking at a week or two before everything is settled down, organized and things are where they’re supposed to be,” Strauss said. “Right now, we’re just trying to get the biggest equipment, desks, shelving and files over there. You don’t realize how much you have until you start moving it.”

The village has been working on renovating the old high school and middle school, which are connected, for a couple years now — changing some of the flooring, layout and structure, while also keeping some of the style and design of the school.

For example, the old library from Keystone Middle School has been renovated into the new police station, which gives the department an estimated six times more office space than it had at the old location, according to village maintenance employee Mike Kroupa.

The public entrance to the police station is the lobby of the former Keystone Middle School, which remains much the same as it did when the school was in operation.

Strauss said the village looked into building a new village facility, but the project would have cost about $2 million. When the renovation of the old high school is completed, Strauss estimated it will have cost about $600,000 and will give the village exponentially more space than it would have had with new construction.

Over the next few weeks, work will continue on the newly renovated facility. The next Village Council meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 13, will take place in the new facility, in what was the cafeteria in the old high school, even though the room won’t be completely ready.

“We don’t have the podium for Council meetings done yet,” Strauss said. “They’re still working on things like putting audio into it, so we’ll set up some tables temporarily to hold our meetings until it’s fully functional.”

Once the building is completed, the village plans to hold a public open house, Strauss said.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com.

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