The Chicago Tribune
March 15, 2001
 
Fire Museum Work OK'd
By Hal Dardick, special to the Chicago Tribune


Work to complete restoration of the former Central Fire Station in Aurora will start this construction season after the City Council Tuesday approved a $755,000 contract to do the bulk of the work.

City officials, however, said up to $200,000 in additional work will be needed to ensure the structural integrity of the building, now home of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum.

The contract was awarded to John Edward Construction of Downers Grove.  Most of the contract will be paid with a $750,000 Illinois FIRST grant awarded last year to the city.

In preparing architectural plans for the renovation, Durrant Group Inc. of Dubuque, Iowa, determined concrete beams that support the building's first floor showed safety-threatening deterioration.

Restoring the building's structural integrity, installing a canopy and other work could raise the entire construction cost to about $950,000, said Dan Seggebruch, the city's architectural projects manager. Including architectural fees, the project's cost could top $1 million.

City spokesman Bill Catching said the city believes it has identified a federal Housing and Urban Development Department grant it can use to pay the additional construction costs, and Seggebruch said the city still anticipates the museum will reopen by October.

While the museum is closed, many of its exhibits and artifacts have been moved to the second floor of the Aurora Historical Society, 20 E. Downer Pl.