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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published June 20, 2019

Village, D181 OK parking deck deal

By Ken Knutson

   The envisioned downtown Hinsdale parking deck accelerated toward reality this past week after village trustees and Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 Board members, in separate meetings, approved an amended intergovernmental agreement to construct the two-level structure on the north side of Hinsdale Middle School.
   In a concession to the district, the village, which approved the IGA at a special meeting June 18, will build the deck to 100 pounds per square foot (psf) live load capacity. Village officials had argued 40 psf was sufficient, but at a June 13 special meeting, Cauley said the concession was made to end to the protracted negotiations — though he reiterated the belief that a 100 psf design was superfluous.
Emergency vehicles and buses will not be allowed on the deck, however, reducing the estimated added cost of the sturdier deck from $600,000 to $200,000.
   The village also agreed to install planters as part of the deck’s landscaping design at a cost of $90,000, along with the necessary structural support for $20,000. Mike Duggan, District 181’s director of facilities, said the district was committed to its positions on the deck’s design.
   “The board stood firm on the most important issues to us, which are safety and aesthetics,” Duggan told the district’s board members at their June 13 meeting, when they approved the IGA.
   The village is responsible for $7.7 million of the total $9.9 million budgeted for the project, which is being constructed on school district property. District 181 is contributing $1.31 million to the project.
   Plans for the 319-space deck to provide school parking on the upper level and downtown business district parking on the lower tier have been in the works since District 181 passed a $53.3 million referendum to build the new HMS in November of 2016. Despite finalizing an intergovernmental agreement a year ago, the two sides hit an impasse over the live load and landscaping issues, requiring them to enter mediation.
   District 181 attorney Sam Kavnar said school officials can feel confident in the deck’s ability to hold a large number of people at one time.
   “The deck is safe for its intended use. The landscaping is consistent with the original plan that was presented to the board and approved, and the administration and your legal counsel are pleased with the result,” Kavnar said at the June 13 board meeting.
   A bump in the price of concrete has added $614,000 to the project’s estimate from a year ago, among other escalations. Cauley reported that the village has been able to secure $400,000 in state funding and $500,000 from Metra to defray construction costs and are hoping for another $451,000 in federal funds that had been earmarked for the Oak Street Bridge project.
   “We found other revenues to pay for (the project) that will not impact the other infrastructure projects that we have,” he said.
   Cauley, in his third term as Hinsdale’s chief executive, remarked at the series of hurdles on the path to resolution on the deck.
   “The parking deck has been the most challenging issue that I have faced as a village president,” he said, while voicing hope for better intergovernmental collaboration going forward.
   Excavation work at the 100 S. Garfield St. site is slated to start in August, and officials with Wight & Company, the village’s construction manager, expect the deck to open next spring.
   District 181 board member and facilities committee chair Margie Kleber characterized the IGA process as “arduous and unnecessarily so.” But she expressed satisfaction with bringing it to a conclusion.
   “I am proud to be a part of a solution to a long-standing village problem, and so I’m very happy that we’re finally getting to resolution,” she said. “I hope going forward we will have much more collaborative and greater communication with our partners, the village, and that we will see this deck through to fruition and enjoy it for many decades to come.”

– Pam Lannom contributed to this story.



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