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Civic Center petitions submitted

The Friends of the Civic Center organization turned in its petition signatures this morning seeking an advisory referendum this spring on the building's fate.

Group organizer John Kennedy says they submitted 2,138 signatures — 300 more than the minimum required to place the issue on the April 17 election ballot.

The referendum would give voters a chance to say whether they think Evanston's city hall should remain in the nearly century-old former Catholic girls' school where it's been located for the past three decades.

Evanston aldermen have been considering alternative sites after concluding it would be more economical to move to a new building than maintain the existing one — a claim advocates of the old building dispute.

City Clerk Mary Morris said that any persons seeking to challenge the validity of the petitions will have from Feb. 5 through 13 to submit those challenges.

Ms. Morris said she believes that, with the signature cushion the Civic Center group has, a successful challenge is unlikely.

Assuming any challenge fails, the issue would be certified for placement on the ballot Feb. 15.

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