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Local

Kishwaukee Family YMCA improves building with help from donors

Tim MacPartland, member and physical trainer at Kishwaukee Family YMCA, lifts a barbell over his head during his workout inside the revamped Wellness Center at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA in Sycamore.
Tim MacPartland, member and physical trainer at Kishwaukee Family YMCA, lifts a barbell over his head during his workout inside the revamped Wellness Center at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – Mark Spiegelhoff said his mission is to keep the Kishwaukee Family YMCA clean, well-maintained and staffed with friendly people.

Spiegelhoff, Kishwaukee YMCA’s CEO, said he and his staff owe it to the club’s 9,000 members to keep the building in good, functional shape and keep it looking good. To that end, the YMCA – with the help of community donors – has invested about $1.9 million to revamp various parts of the 49-year-old building at 2500 Bethany Road.

“It is really shaping up to be a facility that the community can be proud of,” Spiegelhoff said. “It will serve the community’s needs for decades to come.”

Many of the upgrades have been made to freshen the look and function of the facility, which opened in 1970. Stephanie Feczko, who works as a lifeguard at the recreational pool, said she remembers going to the Y at age 7 and has seen the changes.

She said the facility looked older then.

“The lane lines were really old and falling apart,” Feczko said.

One of the fixes that Feczko pointed out within the pool area, which received $45,000 in renovations that included new paint and sound baffles, was the diving board.

Feczko said she has a different perspective now than she did when she was a child.

“I understand what has to be done,” Feczko said about the facility’s improvements and about the money that needs to be spent. “It has to be managed.”

There were many renovations in the past few years for less money, and some spaces received big upgrades.

A $455,000 project to revamp the wellness center began in 2015 and ended earlier this year. The area, which Spiegelhoff said is the “busiest area throughout the day,” received new stair-climbing machines, treadmills, strength-training equipment, free weights, new flooring, wall coverings and LED lighting. Many pieces of equipment now have built-in video screens.

Tim MacPartland, who has been a member for five years and also is a trainer at the facility, had positive things to say about the renovations.

“I like it,” he said about the remodeling, which will continue with more machines that soon will be added to the space. “I’ll be excited for the new cardio equipment. A lot of people are excited.”

The space also received three flat-screen TVs near the strength-training equipment.

As a nonprofit organization, the YMCA can accept donations that move the organization’s mission forward. Banners recognizing many of the people and organizations that have donated to the Y hang on the walls.

One space that donations improved was the lap pool. In 2019, the stage company Upstaging donated a large electronic scoreboard to replace the YMCA’s old scoreboard. Spiegelhoff estimated the price tag for the donated scoreboard at about $70,000.

Another upgrade was made to the sports center, which once was used for tennis courts but has since been modified to accommodate a variety of different sports. A large part of the space is surrounded by boards one might see at a hockey rink, with the floor inside the boards striped in many colors to provide boundaries for games of basketball, pickleball, soccer, roller hockey and roller derby. This space recently received a new floor, new ventilation system and new LED lighting, which cost $154,000. A track for runners and walkers is outside the space.

“That was a big project for us,” Spiegelhoff said.

Spiegelhoff said the old sports floor was 20 years old and the space, which often is used by children in the Y’s summer day-camp program, had ventilation issues in the summertime.

“It could get pretty musty,” he said. “Hot and musty.”

Spiegelhoff said the new ventilation system allows for eight to nine air exchanges moving air throughout the area, compared with the previous none or one.

Spiegelhoff said a $100,000 grant from the state of Illinois helped bolster the project.

The Y also added 125 new parking spaces in 2016 in a project that cost $454,000.

The upgrades won’t stop after 2019, either. The roof above the second-floor gym is due to be replaced for $44,000 in the spring, and the Y is working to raise about $50,000 to renovate the Kids Zone, where parents can drop off children up to 5 years old for up to two hours of supervised playtime at no extra charge. So far, $12,000 has been raised for that project.

Spiegelhoff said he and his staff also will announce a fundraising project in 2020 to celebrate the Y’s 50 years service to the community.

Spiegelhoff said he is committed to the continuous upkeep of the facility.

“As long as I’m in charge, we’re going to make sure it stays in good shape,” Spiegelhoff said.

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