Kendall County razes building for downtown Yorkville campus expansion

A demolition claw rips apart the county annex building in downtown Yorkville to make way for expansion of the Kendall County office campus on June 22, 2023. Looming in the background is the three-story Kendall County Office Building, home to the county administration.

YORKVILLE – A demolition claw ripped apart a downtown Yorkville building on June 22, making way for expansion of the Kendall County office campus.

The mechanical monster tore out the structural steel and placed it in a pile, while grouping the concrete blocks that made up much of the building’s construction in another.

By the afternoon, most of the county annex building at 105 W. Fox St. had been torn down.

Kendall County Board Facilities Committee Chairman Brian DeBolt said the work was expected to continue for a few more days as the demolition crew digs into the lower level of the building and carts away the rubble.

The blue two-level concrete block and frame structure sat between the Kendall County Office Building at 111 W. Fox St., home of the county administration, and the former Bristol-Kendall fire station at 101 W. Fox St., which was recently purchased by the county.

Tearing down the annex building is the first phase of a $10 million campus expansion project. The Kendall County Board earlier this spring approved a $55,000 contract with Elgin-based Fowler Enterprises to handle the demolition.

The former fire house, which sits at the northwest corner of Fox Street and South Bridge Street (Route 47), was purchased by the county for $800,000.

The five-bay fire station building will be transformed into the new home for the county’s Facilities Management Department.

Removal of the annex building opens up space for reconfiguring the driveways, walkways and parking areas at the county complex, which also includes the Historic Kendall County Courthouse, now home to the Kendall County Forest Preserve District.

The demolition site will become a parking lot, DeBolt said.

The demolition site is seen here on June 22, 2023 from the second floor of the Kendall County Office Building.

Immediately to the north of the firehouse will be the location for a new building to house the Kendall County Clerk, Recorder and Elections Office.

DeBolt said construction of the new office building is expected to get underway this summer.

That building will occupy a prominent location at the top of the hill directly overlooking South Bridge Street (Route 47) and the downtown business district.

Much of the main floor, which covers about 14,000 square feet, will provide space for the county clerk’s Elections Office, along with the clerk and recorder functions.

The 4,500-square-foot lower level, with outdoor access to the east on the sloping property, will be used for storage.

The project is to be financed with federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The parking lot, with access from South Main Street, forms the western boundary of the campus. The lot will be expanded and reconfigured, along with walkways connecting all of the county buildings.

With the county’s Facilities Management Department taking over the former firehouse, it will leave its headquarters at the county’s other main campus on West John Street in Yorkville.

As a result, space will be created for the expansion of the Kendall County Coroner’s Office.

Once County Clerk Debbie Gillette has vacated her offices on the second floor of the Kendall County Office Building, along with the elections office on the first floor, the county will be in a position to renovate those spaces for other use.

The building demolition on June 22, 2023 has opened up a new vista, providing a view of the Historic Kendall County Courthouse in the distance.