The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Sullivan Sisters bring bluegrass to Evanston
Sullivan Sisters bring bluegrass to Evanston
Marin Ubersox, In-Depth Editor • February 22, 2024
Actors Gymnasium has served as a core part of Evanstons arts scene since it began 29 years ago.
Evanston's Actors Gymnasium: 29 years of risk-taking, mentorship
Nadira Bumi, Staff Writer • February 22, 2024
On the cutting edge
On the cutting edge
Long before she was cracking up crowds on improv’s premier stage at Second City, Claire McFadden spent her days in Evanston getting her first taste of improv and sketch comedy. (Photo courtesy of Claire McFadden)
Second City's resident 'wild card' puts jokes first
Sam Froum, Arts & Entertainment Editor • December 21, 2023

City Council approves 15-year lease for temporary Civic Center amidst renovation debate

Fourth+Ward+Councilmember+Jonathan+Nieuwsma+was+in+favor+of+the+relocation.
Fourth Ward Councilmember Jonathan Nieuwsma was in favor of the relocation.

The Jan. 22 City Council meeting was centered on the necessity for renovation or relocation of  the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, due to current issues surrounding the building’s HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems.

“We have had to do emergency repairs numerous times on the HVAC without actually affecting any real major improvement that would reduce the amount of renovations in the future,” said Lara Biggs, Engineering and Capital Planning Bureau Chief.

In order to allow the City Council and other City staff time to either renovate or find an alternate location for the Civic Center, a potential long-term lease of office space at 909 Davis Street was up for discussion.

“I’m prepared to vote yes on this tonight and move forward. I want to emphasize that this is not the long-term forever solution. Even if we do decide that we want to stay [at the current Civic Center] long-term, we need to move out while this building is renovated,” said Fourth Ward Councilmember Jonathan Nieuwsma.

However, not all councilmembers believed the lease was ready to be approved.

“I don’t think we should in any way be authorizing our city manager to sign a lease for office space this evening for this civic staff. No discussion, no mention of this plan has been made until tonight. [Now] in one fell swoop we’re going to embark on perhaps one of the most expensive projects in Evanston’s history,” said First Ward Councilmember Clare Kelly.

A primary concern surrounding the proposed lease was its length. Renovations on the current Civic Center would take multiple years, but even so, some councilmembers worried about getting into too-long of a rental contract. Eighth Ward Councilmember Devon Reid made an ultimately unsuccessful motion to strike the proposed time frame of 15 years to 10 years. Following that he made a second motion to table the lease discussion until the upcoming Feb. 12 City Council meeting in order to compare the cost of a 10 and 15 year lease, but the addendum once again failed.

Ultimately the resolution to lease the 909 Davis Street office space was passed 6-3, with contract negotiations set to begin soon.

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About the Contributor
Elise Goulding, Staff Writer
Hello! I’m Elise Goulding (she/her). I am a junior and have written for the News section of The Evanstonian since freshman year. I write because I enjoy learning about what is happening in the Evanston community and interviewing new people. I’m involved in gymnastics, Student Ambassadors and a leader in Climate Action Club.  I also do club gymnastics and coach. In my free time, I spend time with friends, read, and watch TV.
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