The Bloomington City Council will hear about a plan Monday night to allow the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal to erect a new, larger building at a west-side park.
Boys & Girls Club says it has outgrown its leased space at 1615 W. Illinois St., with the total number of kids served annually nearly doubling in the past five years, to around 1,000. The nonprofit is hoping for the City of Bloomington’s help securing land for a new building just down the street at Sunnyside Park, at Illinois and Erickson streets.
Aldermen will hear a presentation about selling or leasing 3 acres of city-owned land at Sunnyside Park for a “nominal cost” to the Boys & Girls Club. The building would be paid for through private fundraising. Additional parkland would be created to the west of Sunnyside.
“We are part of the west Bloomington community and are aligned with its revitalization. We are neighbors in the Sunnyside neighborhood community. We belong and are needed in the Sunnyside Park neighborhood,” Boys & Girls Club CEO Tony Morstatter said in a letter aldermen.
Aldermen won’t vote on the plan Monday.
The move comes as another Bloomington nonprofit—the YMCA—makes plans to move eastward. In April the YMCA announced plans to move to the city’s east side as part of a joint project with OSF Healthcare and Easterseals Central Illinois. YMCA and Easterseals would share space in the new building on the OSF campus off Washington Street just west of Veterans Parkway.
In other business, the Bloomington City Council will vote on whether to save Normal’s electronics recycling program by helping to split the cost of it.
Since it opened in the early 2000s, Bloomington and McLean County residents have been able to use Normal’s electronics recycling dropoff center for free. But facing a tight budget, Normal is now requesting that Bloomington and McLean County share the labor, equipment usage, and potential vendor costs.
Normal has discussed closing the dropoff if other local governments don't help pay for it.
If approved Monday, the City of Bloomington would kick in $13,377 per year for its share of the electronics recycling site. The county would do the same.
People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.