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Galesburg Examines Community Center Options

TSPR's T.J. Carson
The Boys and Girls Club already hosts community events including a forum last fall between Galesburg teachers and administrators.

The city is looking to a site for youth in Galesburg to serve the entire community.

Alderman plan to consider a proposal as early as next month to establish a five-year agreement with the Boys and Girls Club to serve as the city's community center.

As part of the agreement, the city will pay for $112,300 worth of upgrades to the building. That will cover the cost of painting the facility and improving the heating and cooling system. City Manager Todd Thompson said the building needs work  because of its age.

“Boys and Girls Club facility was built as a USO around the time of World War II.  So it’s an old building,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the money for the upgrades will come from the sale two years ago of the city's former community center on Simmons St.

The city will provide an additional $12,000 for operational expenses after the first year.

Aldermen inquired about the use of the Armory as a home for a community center. Thompson said that idea was still possible as a long term solution.

“That building is a large building, and the cost to just get it operational with respect to heating and bathrooms, basic necessities, would be pretty significant,” Thompson said.

He estimated that cost to be around half a million dollars.