Crown Friends help close city COVID-19 budget gap

A rendering of the new Crown Center.

Friends of Robert Crown Center announced today that it will transfer $637,500 to cover the additional cost of 2020 debt service for the new Robert Crown Community Center project, helping the City of Evanston deal with the severe budget impacts of the novel coronavirus. 

“Because of the generosity of our more than 1,300 donors who care deeply about the present and future of Evanston, Friends of the Robert Crown Center is happy to advance this payment of $637,500, and stand ready to move even more funding as the city heads into the fall budget season.” Friends President Daniel Stein said. 

With this additional payment, FRCC will have transferred more than $6.637 million to the city, including the entire $6 million portion made on direct construction costs for the new Robert Crown Community Cente.

Stein says FRCC plans to make additional transfers this fall to help ease expected budget stress on the 2021 city budget related to COVID19 impacts on both revenue and expenses. 

He noted that while all of the city’s libraries and recreation centers are closed due to COVID19, Robert Crown Community Center is distributing 4,000 grab ‘n go meals per week for students who normally receive free or reduced lunch at District 65 schools. In addition, the new center is serving as Evanston's Command Center during the pandemic, with enough room for staff to work safely and maintain social distancing during the crisis. 

FRCC has raised $12.5 million in donations and commitments for the new Robert Crown Community Center. Together with that sum and $1 million in investment from the state capital bill solicited by FRCC and the City of Evanston, the capital campaign has just $1.5 million left to raise toward its $15 million stretch goal.

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