The newest building at Western Illinois University isn't located on the main campus in Macomb but rather at the school's golf course.
The Chown Golf Learning Center at Western’s Harry Mussatto golf course opened this summer.
WIU Women’s Golf Coach Lia Lukkarinen said they wanted a space that would serve the collegiate golfer well but also double as a community space because the University's course is open to the public.
“So, obviously the teams will use it in the spring and the fall, but in the summer we really want this to be a community space for WIU and Macomb,” Lukkarinen said.
The new clubhouse is an open concept space with a snack bar, common area, and pro shop. It has locker rooms for the men’s and women’s golf teams as well as office space for the coaches.
“I think business is already improving and this is a much more user friendly space and the patrons are enjoying it,” Lukkarinen said.
Lukkarinen said in the near future they hope to raise some additional money to set up a golf simulator for the players on the college golf teams and the public.
Lukkarinen said the Chown Golf Learning Center was paid for entirely through private fundraising with contributions coming from a variety of donors. WIU’s Facility Management previously told Tri States Public Radio that the project was expected to cost about $500,000.
The Learning Center is named after Arthur and Rosalind Chown. Lukkarinen said both were long time golfers and the late Art Chown had worked as the administrator at the golf course for many years.
“We just want WIU and the community use the center and enjoy the game of golf,” Lukkarinen said.