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Civic Center Committee

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Term: Not specified
Place: Room 2200 of the Morton Civic Center

Civic Center Documents

BTC Roof Report

CECA Roof Survey


Civic Center Fit Test Appendices

2009 Civic Center Roof Replacement Investigation

Development Criteria Selection Presentation - September 26, 2007

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3  Part 4

1998 Adaptive Reuse & Programming Feasibility Analysis

1999 Recommendations for Interim Mitigations

2002 Eval Civic Center Roofs

2003 Comparison to Rehab or Budget for New Building

2005 Civic Center Proposal

2005 Civic Center Design Guidelines

2006 Updated Analysis of Civic Center

2007 Space Study Summary of Civic Center

Due to the deteriorating condition of the Civic Center, a Civic Center Committee was established in 2002 with a mission to determine the best long term location for the City of Evanston’s seat of government. The committee is composed of all nine aldermen. The Evanston municipal government currently resides in the Civic Center at 2100 Ridge Ave.

The existing Civic Center was constructed in 1909 with an addition constructed in 1925 and is currently in poor condition. The anticipated cost to rehabilitate the existing building approaches or exceeds the proposed cost to build a new building.

The City of Evanston purchased the current Civic Center Building in the 1970’s from the Marywood Academy, a Catholic girls’ school. The City rehabbed the building in 1977-78 to form the current office building configuration. Most of the building was remodeled. This included the addition of air-conditioning, electrical up-grade, space reorganization and some plumbing improvements. Numerous modifications and alterations were performed after the City moved into the space. This comprised of office changes, bathroom remodeling and roof and window replacement. The Parasol Room and Council Chambers were altered to better accommodate the City’s function in these spaces.

A study of the facility was conducted in 1997 by an architectural consulting firm named Doyle and Associates.(Doyle), to determine the future options for the Civic Center. Doyle presented the City with the following two reports;

City of Evanston Civic Center 2000 + Feasibility Analysis, dated July 10, 1998
City of Evanston Civic Center 2000 + Recommendations For Interim Mitigation dated March 24, 1999.

A third report prepared by Elliott Dudnik + Associates dated September 29, 1998 appears to agree with the findings of the first Doyle Report. The following observations are based on those reports.

In brief, Doyle concluded that the Civic Center building systems such as roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and sprinkler system (non existent) are at the end of their useful life and require replacement. Numerous code violations exist involving the size, configuration and exiting of the building. There are three basic options for the resolution of these problems:

  1. Rehabilitate the existing Civic Center: Unfortunately, the large extent of the deterioration of many of the Civic Center building systems would require the demolition of many of the interior ceilings and walls. This work would be disruptive to the City staff and it was originally thought that a minimum of ½ of the occupants of the Civic Center be temporarily relocated to another facility while the work is progressing. Based on the experience of doing a similar phased construction at the Police Station, staff believes that the building would have to be vacated, 18 to 24 months, to provide for a more productive work environment, prevent damage to computer systems and reduce overall construction costs.
  2. Construct a new Civic Center: Due to the building density of Evanston, there are very few un-built sites available for new construction. Building a new building will require both the purchase and demolition of an existing building, possibly removing it from the present tax rolls, or occupying parkland for a new Civic Center.
  3. Combination of rehabilitate and build new: It is possible that portions of the activities that are housed in the existing Civic Center can be relocated to other facilities. These other facilities could be constructed new or be remodeled from existing structures.

In 2003, US Equities (USE) confirmed the findings of the Doyle report indicating that the costs to rehabilitate the existing Civic Center now exceed $20 million dollars. In a confidential report prepared by USE Realty titled Preliminary Analysis of Potential Civic Center Alternatives dated September 24, 2003 and subsequently updated on October 20, 2003, USE outlined 4 potential Civic Center site Development Scenarios. These scenarios ranged from completely relocating the existing City of Evanston’s seat of government off of the site, and demolishing the existing building, to partial demolition and partial rebuilding of the existing Civic Center with some residential on the remainder of the site. The report provided schematic site plans with proposed densities associated with each of the plans.

During the Civic Center Committee meeting on March 3, 2004 the committee discussed the confidential report from USE. During the discussion Alderman Newman suggested that the option of staying in this building be eliminated since there is no ready means to finance the project if it takes that direction. He entered a Motion to eliminate the rehabilitation of the existing building as described in the presentation from consideration. This motion was voted on and passed.

The Civic Center Committee met again on January 18, 2005. USE brought forth as a key objective in finding an appropriate location for the Civic Center, the need to minimize the cost to the taxpayers. Since the options related to the full rehabilitation of the existing Civic Center are the most expensive, USE suggested that the Committee reaffirm their vote to eliminate scenarios related to the rehabilitation of the existing center, and that future efforts be focused on finding an off-site alternative.

After further discussion of the various scenarios presented by USE at the Civic Center Committee meeting, a motion was made to eliminate the rehabilitation of the existing building from further consideration by the Civic Center Committee. This motion was passed unanimously by the Civic Center Committee (6-0).

City Council concurred with the recommendation of the Civic Center Committee to not consider the rehabilitation of the existing Civic Center at 2100 Ridge Ave.