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Raue Center to receive nearly $180,000 in repairs

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 4:25 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 2:18 p.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com)
A crowd gathers under the Raue Center for the Arts marquee in Crystal Lake.

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Raue Center for the Arts will receive major maintenance repairs after the Crystal Lake City Council approved about $120,000 more than was originally requested.

Initial quotes totaled about $57,500 and included spot roof repairs, minor masonry work and the replacement of the 30-ton rooftop air-conditioning unit. But further engineering studies showed the price of removing the air-conditioning unit would be much more because additional insulation, more duct work and a rerouted gas supply line would be necessary to complete the job.

The additional work, along with the decision to make major improvements such as a full roof replacement instead of spot repairs, bumped the cost of the project from $57,500 to $179,539.

George Koczwara, deputy city manager for Crystal Lake, said it was more cost-effective to do major roof and HVAC work at the same time because all areas would be accessible. The 15-year warranty also mitigates future repair costs, he said.

“This new amount is going to the source of the problem and solving the problem once and for all,” Koczwara said. “If we did the spot repairs, we would probably be coming back and dealing with the roof and wall again in a few years.”

The Raue Center building is owned by the Crystal Lake Civic Center Authority – a state-mandated board where members are appointed by the City Council. Because the authority does not have taxing power, it must rely on city assistance for building maintenance.

Koczwara said it is only the second time the city has put money into the building, with the first coming in 2007.

While the amount is higher than first expected, Koczwara said, no other city projects will be affected.

Richard Kuranda, executive director of the Raue Center, said he is excited the improvements will eliminate the problems and not just temporarily patch them. He said water intrusion had become significant near the second floor bar and center lobby areas.

Kuranda said he was not sure of the exact timetable for the work but emphasized that it would not conflict with scheduled activities and should take about two weeks.

“We’re extremely grateful to the city,” he said. “We try to be good stewards, but sometimes problems are outside of our regular maintenance.”

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