Evanston voters by a nearly five-to-one margin Tuesday said they favor rehabbing the current Civic Center building at 2100 Ridge Ave.

The referendum question backed by the Friends of the Civic Center drew far more total votes than the question placed on the ballot by the City Council, which assumed it would cost $31 million to do the rehab job. The Friends group had urged voters to ignore the council’s referendum.

Despite that, 49 percent of those voting on the council referendum voted for it, despite the big price tag. The aldermen have repeatedly said they prefer building a new Civic Center and claim they could fund a new building without raising property taxes but would have to raise taxes to rehab the old building.

In the school board races Katie Bailey, Keith Terry and Bonnie Lockhart won election to the District 65 board, defeating Andrew Pigozzi and Adrian Dortch.

In the Evanston Township High School board race newcomer Omar Khuri won election along with incumbents Mary Wilkerson and Jane Colleton, defeating Boris Furman, Adrian Dortch, William Wideman and high school student Jacob Novar.

The turnout for today’s election was light, with a little over 6,000 votes cast, about the same as in the school election four years ago, even though the number of registered voters in Evanston has grown from 39,647 to 45,529 during that time. By contrast, in the 2005 municipal election, with aldermanic as well as school board candidates on the ballot, more than 12,500 voters turned out.

Related story

Detailed election results

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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