Wednesday, October 20, 2021 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
The village of Berkeley is putting its best foot forward with a series of improvements to some of its most visible properties — both physical and digital.
The village’s new website went live on Oct. 19 following several months of preparation. Village officials launched a Website Redesign Workgroup in May.
Most of the website’s development happened in-house, said Rudy Espirtu, Berkeley’s village administrator. Espiritu said the workgroup was headed up by Justyn Miller, the assistant to the village administrator.
A screenshot of the home page of Berkeley’s new website, which went live on Tuesday. | Screenshot
“This has been a long time coming,” Espiritu said about the website during an interview on Oct. 20. “We really tried to make it more user-friendly, because the other site was somewhat hard to navigate at times. So, we tried to keep the user in mind with how we redesigned it. For example, there’s more information on the front page.”
The village is also planning to replace its old entrance signs with new, redesigned ones. The village is paying Chicago Sign Group LLC no more than roughly $54,000 to remove the old signs and install the new ones, according to village documents.
Espiritu said that there’s been some delay with the signage installation due to supply chain issues.
“We’re still hopeful that they’ll be put in by the end of the year,” he said. “But if we can’t, it will have to be the spring.”
An entrance sign at Taft Avenue and St. Charles Road welcoming commuters to the village of Berkeley. The sign will be replaced with new, redesigned ones in the coming months. | File
The new website and planned signage improvements are coming a few years after the village redesigned its logo and adopted the tagline “Berkeley Connects,” which is also the name of the village’s quarterly community newsletter.
“We’re just trying to improve the overall image of Berkeley in the community,” the village administrator said. “It’s kind of a renewal. The new logo and tagline were kind of like a rebranding. This is the next phase of that effort.”
More improvements ahead
The village is also poised to implement improvements to the Prairie Path, near Berkeley Park.
Espiritu said the village budgeted $200,000 to pay for new lighting and plants along the path in order to improve public safety in the area.
The village received a $10,000 grant from the ComEd Green Region Grant Program and a $25,000 grant from America In Bloom, a national beautification nonprofit.
Espiritu said that along with new lighting, workers will likely put down native plants along the path.
Work on the Prairie Path lighting enhancements, which the village is doing in partnership with the Berkeley park District, should start early next month, Espiritu said.