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Crown Friends give $400K more to city

Friends of the Robert Crown Center has responded to a request from the City of Evanston by agreeing to advance the city $400,000 to cover change orders arising from soil problems, retaliatory tariffs on steel and other unforeseen issues during the construction of the new Crown Community Center.

FRCC President Daniel Stein said those factors outstripped the contingency fund built into the original project budget.

Stein noted that the new facility hosts summer camps with enough room to maintain a safe physical distance and distributes 4,000 grab-and-go lunches to students each week. “And we are thrilled,” Stein said, that the new Robert Crown Library is reopening with new safety procedures on Aug. 1.

Just last month FRCC advanced the City of Evanston $637,500 to pay additional debt service payments, giving the city breathing room in a Fiscal 2020 budget that saw falling revenues and growing expenses due to the novel coronavirus.

FRCC has now transferred more than $6.637 million to the City, including the entire $6 million share for construction costs as outlined in the City’s funding plan for the new RCCC. When completed, this additional transfer will raise the total contributions to date from FRCC to the City to more than $7 million.

Stein thanked the more than 1,350 donors and hundreds of volunteers who helped raise the private funds and grants for the project that includes the 6,000-square-foot library and technology center, a modern childcare center, art and dance studios, a running track, two NHL-sized ice rinks and a gymnasium.

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