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Repairs to former Batavia church building estimated at more than $3M

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:18 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – A firm is estimating it will cost at least $3.1 million to repair the former First Baptist Church building at the corner of Washington and Wilson streets in downtown Batavia so the building can be reused.

The city has owned the facility since 2006, including the late 19th century original church, a north addition built in the 1930s and a classroom wing built around 1959. The Batavia City Council recently hired Northbrook-based WJE to assess the building’s condition.

WJE has inspected the building, and aldermen will review the firm's recommendations as part of Tuesday's joint meeting between the City Counci's Community Development and City Services committees. The firm recommended repairs be made to the exterior and interior of the 1889 church, 1930s addition and 1959 classroom wing, as well as the building's mechanical systems. The firm recommended the city budget between $3.1 million and $3.5 million for the work.

"Much of the recommended repair work is dependent upon the future adaptive reuse of the building and the intended function," the firm stated in its report.

However, the firm listed an estimated $775,000 in repairs that need to be done to prevent additional damage to the building materials or features. The repairs include a new roof, gutter repairs and new downspouts at the 1889 church; a new roof, scuppers and downspouts at the 1959 addition; masonary lintel repairs at the 1930s addition and lintel repairs at the 1959 addition.

Public Works Director Gary Holm told aldermen that over the past few years, the city has performed routine maintenance to ensure 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.”

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