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Plainfield

Plainfield YMCA looks to add-on this year

More parking spaces are No. 1 on to-do list

The C.W. Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield.
The C.W. Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield.

PLAINFIELD – C.W. Avery YMCA in Plainfield could see improvements and additions in the very near future.

Greater Joliet Area YMCA President and CEO Jim Watts presented Plainfield officials Monday night with the Y’s short-term and long-term plans for the site at 15120 Wallin Drive, which celebrated its 11th anniversary in February.

As the village has grown, so has as the C.W. Avery YMCA’s membership. It’s up to about 15,000 members serviced in the 80,000-square-foot building, Watts said.

Each day between 1,200 and 1,400 people come into the facility, and it’s putting a strain on operations inside and outside of the building.

Watts said there are many “pinch points” throughout the building where movement is congested because of how busy it is. Trustee Brian Wojowski said he goes to this particular Y and usage is high.

The Y’s leadership has decided on many additions it would like to make to increase exercise and classroom space.

But in the immediate future, the Y appears ready to add 144 parking spaces to alleviate parking congestion. Architectural drawings and permitting would come in the next few months.

The Y would like to begin construction on the parking lot in August and then continue construction in the fall by adding onto the brick building. The exterior would feature more glass and the Y wants to make it look like the addition was part of the original building.

The YMCA bought 10.3 acres of adjacent land from Plainfield School District 202 in June 2014 for $1 million. The purchase nearly doubled the land area of the Plainfield location.

The land originally was part of a 25-acre parcel that included neighboring Ira Jones Middle School. It was intended to be used for another elementary school during the Plainfield school building blitz of the 2000s.

Plainfield Director of Planning Jon Proulx said the Y was invited in to share its long-term plans, but is currently in the application process for the parking lot addition, which he described as “much-needed” to service the Y’s high activity levels.

Trustee Margie Bonuchi called the C.W. Avery YMCA a “real jewel in Plainfield” and said so many good things come out of the building.

Officials are in support of the additions so far.

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