Evanston’s City Council is scheduled Monday night to approve a contract to begin work to upgrade the city’s former recycling center as a city storage facility.

The overall conversion project was estimated to cost $2.25 million, with a projected first phase cost of $1.15 million.

But the low bid for the first phase work, from G.A. Johnson and Sons of Evanston, came at just $717,550.

Staff estimates that about 23% of the first phase work is required to equip the building at 2222 Oakton St. for a temporary role to house the dog portion of the Evanston Animal Shelter operation while a new animal shelter is constructed.

The Evanston Animal Shelter Association, which operates the shelter for the city, has already moved the cat side of the shelter operation to temporary quarters at 611 South Blvd.

In a memo to the council, project manager Shane Cary says the city has used the former recycling center as a storage area for the past two decades.

Council approved renaming it the Municipal Storage Facility last fall.

Work on the building is expected to include roof replacement and repair, window repair, exterior wall repairs, interior renovations, loading dock modifications, HVAC system upgrades, updates for Climate Action and Resilience Plan compliance and storage rack installation.

Bid opening for the contract to build the new animal shelter is scheduled for Tuesday and staff anticipates making a recommendation to Council about the award of that contract on Feb. 13.

The cost of the new shelter is budgeted at $6.3 million, with $2 million being provided by a grant from Cook County and another $1 million from fundraising by the animal shelter association.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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