Batavia Government Center Named for Mayor
Kane County Connects Staff 9/12/2022 10:00AM
The Batavia City Council has unanimously approved renaming the Batavia Municipal Government Center the Jeffery D. Schielke Government Center.
“During his 41-year-tenure, Mayor Schielke has served his beloved hometown with high honor and distinction, having provided leadership during a period of unprecedented growth and prosperity,” the Batavia City Council proclamation states.
“Mayor Schielke’s extensive experience and ongoing dedication, there is likely no other person who has spent more hours in service to the citizens of Batavia at our Government Center.”
Schielke was not notified of the proclamation ahead of time, and was very surprised by the announcement.
“Thank you for the honor,” Schielke said. “I’m very honored to be the mayor of this town.”
In congratulating Schielke, Batavia Councilman Alan Wolff praised him for his diplomacy and ability to facilitate dialog among the council. “The entire time I’ve been on council, you’ve been able to pull all 14 of us in a way forward that didn’t allow in-fighting. We could say what we wanted and know that we’d be heard,” Wolff said. “I really admire that.” “You live Batavia. You are Batavia,” he added.
When he first took office on May 4, 1981, Schielke was the youngest mayor in Batavia’s history. He was 32. After winning his historic 11th term in 2021, Schielke became the second longest-serving mayor in Illinois and the 11th longest-serving mayor in the U.S. A life-long resident of Batavia, Schielke is a 1967 graduate of Batavia High School and a member of one of the first graduating classes of Waubonsee College, and an alumnus of Aurora University.
His service to the community includes being a Batavia auxiliary police officer, a paid-on-call Batavia firefighter, and a volunteer photographer for the Batavia Fire Department. He has also been the president of the Batavia Historical Society, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce 2004 “Citizen of the Year,” and former chair of the DuKane Council of Governments.
On a regional level, Schielke has served on the PACE Bus Board, and as chairman of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Metropolitan Mayors’ Caucus. In congratulating Schielke, Batavia Councilman Alan Wolff praised him for his diplomacy and ability to facilitate dialog among the council.
“The entire time I’ve been on council, you’ve been able to pull all 14 of us in a way forward that didn’t allow in-fighting. We could say what we wanted and know that we’d be heard,” Wolff said. “I really admire that. You live Batavia. You are Batavia.” The announcement coincides with the city council’s approval of contracts for the government center remodeling project.
The renovation project includes remodeling the center portion of the building’s interior as well as several exterior improvements. The remodel will further modernize the 120 year-old building that saw its last update in the 1990s. Plans call for creating two, separate and more functional and inviting lobbies with separate entrances--one for the Batavia Police Department, and the other for city hall reception which will include the Utility Billing and Community and Economic Development departments.
The building’s second floor will include more office space for the human resources and information systems departments. The Albright Community Theatre will continue to be located on the third-floor, accessible for shows via an elevator in the city hall lobby. A third-floor bathroom for theater patrons is also planned. The building’s exterior renovation plans call for new entrance doors and awnings more appropriate for the building’s architecture, as well as changes to the parking, landscaping and signage on the building’s west side.
Geneva-based Lane+Pepa Architects designed the remodel earlier this year. The city awarded the following contracts for the project: $2.3M to Lite Construction, Inc., of Montgomery, Illinois for the construction; $259K to EHC Industries, of Wauconda, Illinois to remove asbestos and lead paint prior to the remodeling project; and $162K to Trane U.S. to install a new HVAC Building Automation System.
Batavia is located 35 miles west of Chicago along the banks of the Fox River. Settled in the 1830s, Batavia earned the nickname ‘The Windmill City’ when it was the windmill manufacturing capital of the world at the turn of the 20th Century. Batavia is home to more than 1,200 businesses, including Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory, the U.S. Headquarters of Aldi Inc, and Suncast Corporation. Batavia’s historic charm, excellent school system, and unparalleled recreational and shopping amenities make it a great place to live, work and play for its over 26,000 residents.