With less than a week to go before a targeted fundraising deadline, residents have raised $275,000 to install lights at Memorial Field across from Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn.
That's short of the $325,000 goal -- the estimated cost to install four 70-foot and two 60-foot light poles -- but fundraising committee members say they're confident the goal will be met.
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Over the course of two months, about 250 people -- including parents, students and other community members -- donated to the project, said John Brodner, one of the fundraising organizers.
"It's had some great acceptance by the community," Brodner said.
Glenbard High School District 87 targeted Monday as a deadline for all funds to be in the bank, since that's when the school board is expected to formally consider approval of the project by putting it out to bid. District officials said they won't move forward with the project until all funds are secured through private donations.
Should the committee come up short, a Glen Ellyn couple -- who asked not to be named -- has pledged to cover the remaining cost.
In March 2011, the couple sent district officials a letter saying they would fund the entire project, with the stipulation they remain anonymous. But in July, members of Our Field Our Town, a citizens group opposed to the lights project, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the district seeking a copy of the letter -- complete with the donor names.
The husband and wife say they want to be considered a "backup" and their intention was always to have the community be involved in paying for the lights.
Brodner said donations have come from various sources, from online donations to fundraisers such as a Final Four basketball watching party. Those who donate more than $500 will get a personalized brick that will be installed at the south field entrance.
Should the project be approved Monday, bid documents could be issued by May and a contractor could be selected by July. Construction is likely to take five weeks and final completion is targeted for Aug. 31, according to the district's tentative timeline.