Construction of a warming hut for platform tennis players and safety village participants in Glen Ellyn has moved a step closer to reality.
The park district board voted 5-2 Tuesday to begin talks with a contractor for construction of a 1,200-square-foot structure at Maryknoll Park at Pershing Avenue and Route 53.
Of eight companies that submitted bids for the project, Darien-based MC Building came in with the second-lowest at $220,000. The lowest bidder did not submit a proposal encompassing the entire scope of work and was removed from consideration, according to Craig Pride, principal from PPK Architects, which completed designs for the Maryknoll structure.
Pride said he thought MC Builders' price for sewer and water line installation -- $41,000 -- was high, but indicated that could be reduced to $30,000. The total bid price could be negotiated to $205,000, he said.
Still, Commissioner Jay Kinzler, who voted against allowing contract talks with MC Building, said the company's base bid of $220,000 is more than what the park district said it could pay for the project.
The district is paying $200,000 of the estimated $350,000 total cost; the rest is coming from the Glen Ellyn Platform Tennis Club. Construction of the last two tennis courts at the park was $140,000, leaving $210,000 for the hut.
Pride said the contractor could provide a better price later, and the park district could negotiate a change in the contract value as long as the project's scope isn't changed.
"Being deemed the low bidder does not guarantee that the contractor completes the job unless you negotiate a contract between the two entities," Pride said.
At Tuesday's board meeting, President Ed Hess announced the Glen Ellyn Platform Tennis Club will make in-kind donations of interior painting, furniture and some plumbing costs for the new hut. The club also will provide an additional $10,000 for any cost overruns.
The club already is paying $150,000 of the project's total cost, thanks in part to an anonymous $100,000 donation it received.
Hess also announced the Glen Ellyn Parks Foundation was dedicating $30,000 to the project.
Commissioner Melissa Creech, who voted with Kinzler, said she was concerned foundation money was moving away from funding park district scholarships to the funding of the hut. The foundation only provided $5,000 for scholarships last year, she said.
"I know the foundation does not have a pot of gold," Creech said. "If they're spending $30,000 on this, that means it's $30,000 not being spent on scholarships."
Hess said the foundation is independent of the park district, and makes its own determination on how it wants to spend money. In this case, foundation members decided to direct funds to the construction of the hut, which is part of the safety village project they have previously supported, he said.
"We have no control over an independent organization over how they give us money or how we're going to use it," Hess said. "That you don't like the way an independent foundation is spending their money is extremely disingenuous."
The board voted 6-1 to approve an amendment by Commissioner Julia Nephew that requires staff to bring the contract back to the board for review.