SYCAMORE – The Kishwaukee Family YMCA will borrow $200,000 to expand and improve some of its facilities.
Executive Director Rob Wilkinson said he plans to add 50 more parking spaces. Crews also will be renovating and updating the locker rooms, starting with the youth locker rooms Monday. Wilkinson said he hopes both projects are done by Nov. 30.
Wilkinson said patrons are surveyed every year, and the primary issues that come up are locker rooms and parking.
“That’s why we looked at these initiatives, especially when we’re getting to the winter when facility usage increases tremendously,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson said the improvements are being funded by a combination of the Y’s operations fund, some donations and a $200,000 loan. Wilkinson said they are confident they can repay the loan in three years.
He said the organization is working on its permit to expand its parking lot to the city of Sycamore before winter. They also will assign 14 spaces as being seniors-only between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Wilkinson said.
“It will make the facility more accessible during those peak senior times,” Wilkinson said.
Meanwhile, the Y will gut the locker rooms for boys and girls, replacing the lockers, benches, countertops and most of the plumbing. Wilkinson said poor ventilation has caused some of the 10-year-old lockers to rust.
Geoff Gordon, director of marketing at Northern Illinois University and a YMCA patron, agreed with the assessment of the locker rooms.
“If you want state-of-the-art facilities, you have got to keep improving,” Gordon said, adding that a locker can take a duffel bag being thrown into it only so many times.
During the renovation, boys will have their own locker room while the girls will share a locker room with the women, Wilkinson said. The women’s locker room is set up with a separate area for the girls.