Evanston aldermen Monday are scheduled to approve two contracts designed to lay the groundwork for a proposed new Robert Crown Recreation Center.

City staff is proposing that the aldermen award a $49,500 contract contract for a marketing and financial feasibility study to HVS Convenstion, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting of Chicago.

In addition they’re recommending approval of a $7,510 contract for phase one environmental site assessment to Environmental Protection Industries of South Holland. Based on the results of the phase one work, staff would also be authorized to negotiate an agreement with EPI for a phase two envinmental site study, if that turns out to be needed.

The city has been seeking for some time to find a private company to design, build, finance and operate a new Crown Center at Main Street and Dodge Avenue, near the existing site.

Aldermen voted earlier this year to authorize several studies to determine the market for such a facility and identify any environmental issues that might add to anticipated costs.

The two firms being recommended for the contracts were selected based on a request for proposals process.

Recreation program advocates have long decried the state of the Crown ice rink and related facilities and have argued that a larger, privately financed structure could better serve the communities needs without costing the city additional money.

Update 3 p.m. 3/29/11: Aldermen did approve both contracts Monday night after some discussion. Details here and here.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Wonderful News

    Finally a small step in the right direction!  There is no doubt the studies will show that there is sufficient demand for a new facility.  But I am curious what the marketing study will say, since the city has never done any marketing in the past.

    What happened to the companies that expressed interest in investing in the project?

  2. Add a branch library

    If they're building a new Crown Center at the same location, I suggest adding a South-West Branch library.

    1. That has been in the city’s

      That has been in the city's plan for this construction project for years.  I am not aware of any plans to cover the operating costs, though.

  3. More studies?

    Interesting the Mayor is crying about the state lack of funding and now the city is doing a marketing study?

    Why aren't the private companies who the city claimed they went  out for proposal done this already?

    Why would any company use the city data and study in the first place?  It would appear to me they would need to do their own study?  Maybe there are no real investors and the city is now trying to save face?

    Could it be this is all another waste of our tax dollars? Another $55,000  wasted when the building needs repairs?

    Didn't Wally in his budget presentation the other night have a line item to cut down on consultant studies?

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