Glen Ellyn Park District officials say $6,500 is all that's keeping a stalled warming hut project from getting off the ground.
The proposed 1,200-square-foot structure would be built near four existing platform tennis courts at Maryknoll Park, located at Pershing Avenue and Route 53. So far, only a foundation has been put in, and last month the park district board voted to put the project on hold until further funds are secured.
That vote came at the first meeting of a new majority of commissioners who have emphasized fiscal restraint, and criticized past board members for approving projects, they say, the park district can't afford.
At a meeting Tuesday, officials announced that the Glen Ellyn Platform Tennis Club has committed additional donations for the project: $5,000 from Athletico, $5,000 from the American Platform Tennis Association, and $10,000 from an anonymous donor -- with the condition that the facility contain two bathrooms.
Already, the group has committed $163,650 to the project. The park district is picking up $200,000 of the total cost.
Despite the additional donations, Board President Melissa Creech said another $6,500 has to be secured -- either through project change orders or more fundraising -- before work can restart at Maryknoll.
Craig Pride, principal from PPK Architects, which completed designs for the Maryknoll structure, said the platform tennis club intends to raise in excess of $6,500 in order to get the project back to the original scope that was proposed, before cost cutting measures were applied.
He noted several cost reductions that have been implemented recently, such as installing a single front door instead of a double door, and a change order on sewer and water work.
Pride said delaying the project could have an impact on his ability to negotiate with contractors to secure further cost savings.
"I lose momentum from contractors in terms of trying to embark on good will," Pride said.
Board Vice President Jay Kinzler said Pride and others have gone "above and beyond" in efforts to reduce the project's cost. But Kinzler acknowledged that he and other commissioners didn't originally support the project.
"Basically we're trying to make this thing work even though some of us personally may not have been in favor of this project with taxpayer money from the get go," Kinzler said. "It looks to me with the tenacity of the group they'll be able to come up with the rest of it."