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Local

Improvements planned for St. Charles Municipal Building

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Municipal Building is expected to undergo a large-scale maintenance project over the next six months.

Aldermen in committee this week unanimously recommended approval of the maintenance projects, which include lighting enhancements, painting and caulking; brick facade, canopy, stone and marble repairs; and roof, windows and door replacements.

Work is planned to begin in May.

Estimated costs are about $1.3 million, down from the original estimate of $1.5 million, said Peter Suhr, public services manager.

“It’s a big price tag,” 5th Ward Alderman Maureen Lewis said. “I know these repairs need to be done. How long until we have to do repairs again?”

Fourth Ward Alderman Jo Krieger agreed about the amount of work needed on the building.

“It’s one project after another,” she said.

Suhr said the goal is to keep the building weather tight for years to come. These improvements should provide a 15- to 20-year solution, he said.

The Historic Preservation Commission – a recommending body – signed off on the improvements with the condition that the blond brick wall be refurbished rather than built new, Suhr said.

That option would include about $20,000 in savings, he said, but there would be old bricks next to new bricks, which likely wouldn’t match.

Aldermen preferred to have the entire wall replaced.

Third Ward Alderman Bill Turner agreed with 4th Ward Alderman Jo Krieger, who said she isn’t a fan of different colored bricks.

“I don’t think it will be as structurally sound if we don’t replace the entire wall itself,” Turner added. “I would prefer it to have all new brick.”

The building will remain open for normal business during construction, Suhr said, but the checkerboard lot along East Main Street will be closed, as will the south entrance.

Because of the parking lot closure, the sand sculpture featured during RiverFest will be moved to the Szechwan Restaurant parking lot this year, Suhr said.

He noted the city is notifying organizers of other special events about the closures, as event requests come forward.

Updates will be posted on the city’s website, www.stcharlesil.gov, Suhr said.

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