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LAKE FOREST | Community News Focus

After Five Years, City Hall Faces a Moving Experience

September 26, 1996|FRANK MESSINA

Venturing forth from its birthplace, the seat of Lake Forest's government will leave its home of five years on Monday and move into a larger building down the block.

A two-story office complex at 23161 Lake Center Drive will become the new City Hall as of 8 a.m. Monday, when a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place.

City officials were nostalgic about leaving the retail center where a group of citizens once rented office space for the 1990 election that led to Lake Forest's incorporation as an independent city and eventually became part of City Hall.

"Where I feel a sense of loss is realizing that that was the place where the election was won," said Mayor Helen Wilson, who was also voted onto the council in the same election. "I remember everybody celebrating over acquiring cityhood that meant more than anything to us."

But as the city grew out of infancy, it also grew out of its offices at 23778 Mercury Road, located about half a block from the new building.

"We have several work areas that are used by two or three employees," Assistant City Manager Mark Pullone said. "We'll definitely have more space in the new location."

The old site has about 8,500 square feet of offices. The city will occupy 11,000 square feet--about half the space in a two-story office building--at the new City Hall.

In addition to more work area, the public will have a larger, more comfortable waiting room on the ground floor, Pullone said.

The move has taken place slowly over the past two weeks. Today will be the final day for city employees, who are trying to prepare for a council meeting on Tuesday while packing.

"We're definitely busy," Pullone said. "But we're going to make this happen."

Pullone said that an official open house will be held in December to coincide with Lake Forest's fifth-anniversary celebration.

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