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updated: 3/2/2011 12:06 AM

Glen Ellyn Park District board ready to hear bids for warming hut

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The Glen Ellyn Park District will solicit bids starting this week for construction work on a 1,200-square-foot warming hut at Maryknoll Park.

But at a board meeting Tuesday, the three commissioners who originally voted against the project because of fiscal concerns said they wanted more time to review an architect's renderings of the building.

The 26-acre park site at Pershing Avenue & Route 53 includes two previously constructed tennis courts, and two recently completed courts.

The dual-purpose building would be in the middle of the courts and serve as a gathering spot for platform tennis players. It would also be used as classroom space for visitors of the park's nearby safety village, which currently has two miniature structures and three more planned, according to Dave Scarmardo, co-interim executive director of the park district.

The district also plans to rent out the facility to groups.

Commissioner Melissa Creech said board members first received the building sketches before the meeting. She expressed concern that not taking a closer look at the design now could lead to project change orders later, as has happened in the past.

"Having time to review these documents earlier will make it cheaper if there are changes," Creech said. "We're about to spend $200,000 to build a facility were going to have for decades. I would like a minute to look through the documents."

Board President Ed Hess said the building is a "simple structure," and the artist's renderings left no questions unanswered.

"Our job as a board is to look at this from a 20,000-foot level sometimes and allow staff and architects to be our advisers and do their job," Hess said. "We are not those people."

Even after sending out a request for bids and awarding a contract, an addendum could be made if something of concern comes up during the process, said Craig Pride, principal from PPK Architects, the Glen Ellyn-based firm that completed designs for the Maryknoll building.

Board attorney Steve Adams agreed, and said the board would ultimately decide whether a contract for the work is approved or rejected.

In October, the board voted 4-3 to approve a funding plan for the project, with the park district paying $200,000 of the estimated $350,000 total cost. The rest would be paid by the Glen Ellyn Platform Tennis Club and through a $100,000 private contribution.

So far, $140,000 has or will be spent on the final two tennis courts, leaving $210,000 dedicated to the hut's construction, Scarmardo said.

Hess, along with Commissioners William Dahlman, Sandra Minogue and Ron Aubrey, voted to move the bid process along, with Creech, Jay Kinzler and Julia Nephew voting in opposition.

It's expected that project bidding will take up to three weeks. Construction would take three to four months, and the building could be ready by fall, Pride said.

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