It’s a go for Roscoe Township Community Center
Founders Park, which contains the home of pioneer Robert J. Cross, will soon be the site of the Roscoe Township Community Center. In the early 1840s, Cross, the first settler in Roscoe Township, built a house on the 17 acre parcel of land on the corner of Hononegah Road and Francis Lane.
In December 2018, the property was purchased by Roscoe Township and renamed Founders Park.
The Township worked with Dan Saavedra of Saavedra Group Architects to develop a master plan that would include restoring the historic Cross homestead and leasing it to the Roscoe Historical Society. Plans were also drawn to construct a community center, which were approved by the Roscoe Township Board and the Village of Roscoe.
The Township put out bids to area construction companies to build the community center. Four companies were interested. Scandroli Construction submitted the lowest at $1,848,848. Anthony Scandroli said the bid came in higher than expected due to increases in construction materials.
The Township was originally expecting to pay about $1,081,420. They had saved up almost that much and were awarded a $704,000 PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations) grant earlier this year. “We will receive half the money when half of the project is finished, and the remaining 50% at completion,” said Dawn Cassaday, Assistant to the Township Supervisor and board member for the Historical Society.
At the April 27 board meeting, Saavedra laid out several options that would lower construction costs including installing a shingle roof instead of metal, eliminate brick pavers, less expensive windows, and eliminating the cupola.
Scandroli said change orders can be implemented while construction is going on at no additional cost.
Trustee Elizabeth Lindquist said she wanted to see changes.
Trustee Phil Rhymer was against making changes. “We don’t want to reduce the quality of the building. I vote to keep everything as we had planned and we can borrow from our reserve fund, if necessary.”
Rhymer suggested asking the contractor to order materials immediately. “Costs just keep going up.”
Trustee Pat Henderson disagreed.
“We have had a reserve for years. We haven’t touched it yet.” Henderson said. “Using it for this project would make the Township and taxpayers vulnerable.”
A special meeting was called for Monday, May 2, to execute the bid. Trustee Pat Henderson was absent.
Trustees Chuck Gilbert, Elizabeth Lindquist, Phil Rhymer and Supervisor Bob Nowicki voted to proceed with accepting the bid, with the option to make changes at a future date.
Scandroli Construction Manager Gacob Lenox is optimistic. He said he believes the project could be about half finished by this September and completed before the end of the year.
Construction of the Robert Cross Community Center gets underway later this month.
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