City to seek architect for new rec center


City staff will ask Evanston aldermen tonight to approval issuing a request for qualifications for design services for a proposed new Robert Crown Community Center.

Fundraising is still underway for the project and no details of its success have been disclosed, but the staff believes its time to seek a firm to do the design work.

The draft RFQ describes a new recreation center with two ice rinks,  a 100-foot by 200-foot international size rink with seating for 600 spectators and an 85-foot by 200-foot NHL regulation rink with seating for 1,000 spectators and potential future expansion to double its spectator capacity.

The current Crown Center has one full size and one small, studio-size ice rink.

The RFQ also calls for a gymnasium large enough to accommoadate two full-court basketball games and with retractable seating for 300 spectators. That would be substantially larger than the current center's gym.

It also calles for a new 5,000 square foot library branch, a four-lane running track and various other facilities.

The proposal anticipates a $30,000,000 building price tag with completion of the project by September 2018.

The existing Crown Center was built in 1975 and plans to replace it have been under consideration for roughly a decade.

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