First LOI released: Robert Crown as “Home of Beacon Academy Wolves”

Robert Crown Center Evanston Beacon Academy

The City has made its first public release of a private funding term sheet for the new Robert Crown Center. The agreement, between local private school Beacon Academy and Friends of Crown, offers the first glimpse of funding contingencies built into the $12 million in pledged donations reported by Friends of Crown.

Under the terms of the proposal, Beacon Academy would make five annual gifts of $100,000 in exchange for naming rights, branding and first use for Crown gym and outdoor fields, “after which RCCC is free to use the unclaimed slots however they wish,” per the agreement.

The terms also permit the private school the right to cancel the program usage agreement at any time with notice. The City is not provided cancellation rights even after the contracted funding term, should Beacon wish to extend. Beacon’s exclusive right of first refusal also limit the City’s ability to negotiate the school’s program rates, which would remain fixed at no more than a 15 percent increase.

City Council has yet to approve agreement terms with Friends of Crown or private donors like Beacon. City Manager Wally Bobkiewitz said at last week’s Town Hall that he anticipates they will be before City Council by end of March. It’s not yet clear if Alderman Don Wilson, who has a personal financial interest in the school and spoken in favor of its partnership with the City, will recuse himself from the Council vote.

Impact on Scope, Capital Cost

Beacon Academy’s contingencies, which were initially negotiated with City staff in June and July of 2017, include reserved use of Crown’s indoor and outdoor facilities, as well as provision of a weight room, training station, dedicated work space for Beacon staff, dressing rooms for Beacon athletes and opponents and reserved parking spaces. That September, the City reported a more than $4.4 million increase in the project cost due to finalization of design that added a third artificial turf field, and larger and additional interior rooms.

Naming rights, branding and first use for Crown gym and outdoor fields

  • Branding rights for gymnasium, outdoor fields and scoreboards.
  • Ten-year exclusive naming rights to gym, with school and logo painted on the floor and “prominent signage declaring the space to be the “‘Home of the Beacon Academy Wolves.'”
  • Reservation for “maximum usage” for Beacon students, “after which RCCC is free to use the unclaimed slots however they wish.”

Added Facilities

  • Weight room with a training station
  • Dedicated work space for Beacon Academy staff
  • Dressing rooms for Beacon Academy athletes and opponents
  • Rights to four reserved parking spaces

Cancellation & First Refusal Rights

  • Beacon Academy has right to cancel the program usage agreement at any time by giving notice 6 months in advance.
  • Beacon Academy will have an option to extend the agreement for an additional five years at usage rates no higher than 115% of the original rates, also fixed for the five-year duration of the option term.
  • Beacon Academy will have an exclusive right of first refusal to negotiate an additional multi-year program usage agreement extension, where the extension term would begin at the conclusion of the second 5-five term.


Additionally, “Beacon Academy staff shall be invited to provide input and collaborate with City staff, architects, and builders on the layout and construction or the gymnasium, to ensure the facility is built to accommodate all anticipated needs for practices and games.”


Leave a Comment