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posted: 5/29/2013 4:24 PM

Cost rising for new elevator for old Kane courthouse

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  • Installing a new elevator at the Kane County Courthouse in Geneva is going to cost a lot more than Kane County officials had planned.

       Installing a new elevator at the Kane County Courthouse in Geneva is going to cost a lot more than Kane County officials had planned.
    Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer, 2007


Adding a new, fully accessible elevator at the Kane County Courthouse is going to cost the county a lot more than expected.

The Geneva Fire Department is requiring the building's western stairwells, near which the elevator would be installed, be enclosed for fire containment, and that a standpipe water-supply system also be installed there.

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The county board's finance and budget committee Wednesday recommended in a 5-1 vote to authorize additional design work, at a cost of $32,925, and getting new bids for the construction of the elevator.

The board approved a construction budget of $806,000 in October. The architects estimate the changes will add another $200,000 to $250,000 to that bill.

District 22 representative Douglas Scheflow voted against the recommendation. District 18 representative Drew Frasz was absent.

Scheflow, a lawyer, said he has been using the old elevator for 30 years.

"It never occurred to me we needed a new one," he said. "To spend $1 million on a historical building, I can't get my head around it."

District 20 representative Cristina Castro disagreed. She said wheelchairs and gurneys can "barely" fit in the old elevator.

Facilities/development/environmental resources department executive director Tim Harbaugh said he didn't know when the current elevator was installed, but that judging by one of its parts, it is from the 1950s or 1960s.

The fire department did not review the plans for the new elevator until the county applied to Geneva for a building permit for the work, Harbaugh said.

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