The Finance Committee of the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Monday rejected a $35,000 donation from the school’s PTA to construct a walking track at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School.

Even though a contractor had told PTA officials that he could build it for the amount they had raised, the district determined that the project would not have met the specifications required for the track they had envisioned.

In fact, the lowest of four bids submitted came in at $64,700, and the bids ranged upwards to $118,140.

The administration, which had opened the bids last July, held out the possibility that the project could be rebid in the future, should funding become available, and that the parents’ contractor would be invited to join in on the bidding process.

Following the meeting, Superintendent Paul Goren noted that the board did not actually reject the donation. “Instead, it rejected the contractors’ bids for the track that far exceeded the PTA donation.”

He added that “the PTA was also contacted and they, too, did not want to accept the bids provided by the contractors.”

Board member Richard Rykhus noted that a similar track built years ago at Haven Middle School did not meet the requirements for competitive track meets, and he urged the administration to take that matter into consideration if the project were to be rebid.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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