PEORIA — The Lakeview Recreation Center is officially open for business.
Peoria Park District officials held a ribbon-cutting Monday at the center, formerly the YWCA building in Lakeview Park, following a legislative breakfast meeting held for the Illinois Association of Park Districts. The facility has been used for several weeks prior to the formal opening.
The building has undergone major renovation thanks to a $2.1 million state loan, said PPD Executive Director Emily Cahill, noting the refurbished center gives the Park District a major indoor facility.
Final costs for the project were the $2.1 million paid by the state and $700,000 from Park District coffers, she said.
"This is one of our most flexible facilities," she said, referring to the 32,000 square feet of space now available for adult and child recreational opportunities.
"We're excited to have a great place for our summer camp this year," said Cahill, noting some 100 children will take advantage of the center from June through the second week of August.
Remodeling was badly needed, she said. "Parts of the building we took over in 2013 were unusable," said Cahill, who said the existing gymnasium was retained. "We added air conditioning and bleachers to make it more functional," she said.
"The ceiling leaked so badly over the gym that park employees had to rig up tubes to catch rainwater, saving the floor," said Cahill.
In place of the "turtle pool" swimming pool that had fallen into disrepair since the YWCA closed here in 2012, the Park District installed another gym, she said.
Nick McDuffee, athletics manager, said the new gymnasium provides enough space for four pickleball courts and two basketball courts. "Two hundred people use the facility daily," he said.
Along with added locker rooms and classroom space, the building also provides an area whose use is currently undetermined, said McDuffee.
"There might be fitness classes in that space coming over from the RiverPlex," he said, referring to the Park District's riverfront fitness center Downtown. "There are a lot of options on the table," added McDuffee.
Another addition to the center was an outdoor playground, he said.
Steve Tarter covers city and county government for the Journal Star. he can be reached at 686-3260 or email@example.com. Follow him at Twitter@SteveTarter and facebook.com/tartersource.