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Temperature problems prompt judicial center HVAC study

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

GENEVA – The single most consistent complaint Chief Judge Judith Brawka has gotten about the Kane County Judicial Center is its temperature.

The too-hot or too-cold temperatures – rooms can range from the 50s to the 90s – have been raised in union negotiations and on juror surveys, Brawka said. She noted someone even blamed his guilty conviction on a cold jurors room.

“It’s not someone saying, ‘I’m chilly,’ ” Brawka told the Kane County Board on Tuesday morning.

Because the HVAC system is built into the facility in concrete, it is beyond general repair, Brawka said. Replacing the temperature gauge or thermostat does not solve the problem, she said.

“It’s an unbelievably complicated system,” Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said.

He said estimates to fix the problem have ranged from $500,000 to $1 million.

But before the county hires a company to overhaul the HVAC system, it wants an independent third party to conduct an assessment.

In an unanimous vote, the board Tuesday authorized a $39,865 contract with Hill Mechanical Services to perform a study that will help diagnose the HVAC problems at the judicial center, which is at 37W777 Route 38 in St. Charles Township.

“This is the only way to handle this type of situation,” said board member Ron Ford, D-Aurora.

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