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Batavia wants to know condition of church building

Published: Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 5:48 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 11:32 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Batavia city officials want to know how much it would cost to repair the former First Baptist Church building at the corner of Washington and Wilson streets in downtown Batavia, so the building potentially could be reused.

The city has owned the facility since 2006, including the late 19th century original church, a 1930s north addition and a 1956 classroom wing. City staff has recommended hiring Northbrook-based WJE for a $26,000 fixed fee to assess the building’s condition.

The Batavia City Council’s Community Development Committee is set to discuss the issue at its meeting Tuesday.

Batavia Public Works Director Gary Holm told aldermen that over the past few years, the city has performed routine maintenance to ensure that the facility did not fall into a state of disrepair.

“It has recently been identified that the original church structure is in need of significant roof repairs,” Holm said in a memo to aldermen. “Also, the adjacent church parking lot, which is now used for public parking, is in need of significant patching.”

In its proposal to the city, WJE states that it plans to do a site assessment and review and come up with budget estimates on any work that needs to be done.

“Known issues include deterioration of the timber foundation, deterioration of roofing, lack of universal accessibility, lack of fire suppression, inadequate heating, lack of air conditioning, deteriorated electrical system, asbestos-containing floor tiles, and probable lead paint,” said Kenneth Itle, WJE senior associate, in a memo to Holm.

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