Evanston aldermen Monday rejected a plea from the Preservation Commission to add extra cost to the Civic Center roof repair project by using slate instead of asphalt shingles to replace the existing leaking slate roof.

The asphalt shingle job is expected to cost $1.5 million. Slate, a city consultant reported, would have added $620,000 to the cost.

Preservation Commission members argued that slate will last longer — an estimated 75 years versus 50 years for asphalt.

But the city’s consultant concluded the city would have to spend four times as much on annual repairs for the slate roof.

That would work out to an annual cost over the life of the roof for installation and repairs of over $48,000 for slate, versus $35,000 for asphalt.

No one from the Preservation Commission offered data to contradict the consultant’s estimate.

The Preservation Commission also voiced concerns about restoration of two metal ballustrades at the top of the building’s front bays.

But it turned out that the aldermen had already included that work in the project.

The roof repair project is now scheduled to go out for bids, with bid approval expected in March and the project to be completed by next September.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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