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posted: 8/13/2014 5:30 AM

Community center plan headed to Wauconda voters

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  • Video: Proposed Center Expansion

  • Wauconda Park District officials have proposed a $4.75 million expansion for the local community center.

       Wauconda Park District officials have proposed a $4.75 million expansion for the local community center.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Ryan Shepherd, back, and Justin Johnsen, both of Wauconda, lift weights Tuesday at the Wauconda Community Center.

      Ryan Shepherd, back, and Justin Johnsen, both of Wauconda, lift weights Tuesday at the Wauconda Community Center.

  • Ryan Shepherd, left, and Justin Johnsen, both of Wauconda, work out at the Wauconda Community Center Tuesday. An expansion of the center could create more fitness space.

       Ryan Shepherd, left, and Justin Johnsen, both of Wauconda, work out at the Wauconda Community Center Tuesday. An expansion of the center could create more fitness space.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

A $4.75 million plan to expand the Wauconda Community Center now is in voters' hands.

The Wauconda Park District board on Tuesday unanimously agreed to put the proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The panel's decision followed a review of a community survey that showed people were fairly evenly divided about whether they'd support the plan and the tax increase it would require.

About 50 percent of the people surveyed said they'd vote for the plan or probably would back it, Parks Director Nancy Burton said. About 44 percent went the other way.

"We're really kind of in a crossroad," Burton said.

The plan calls for a 10,000-square-foot addition to the 21-year-old building at 600 N. Main St. in Cook Park.

Highlights could include an expanded fitness area, group fitness classrooms, an expanded dance room and an early-childhood classroom.

The facility now features a fitness center, a gymnasium, one preschool room and four multipurpose rooms.

Officials say the extra space is needed because of the center's popularity and programs have grown through the years.

"Right now, with the space that we have, we're busting at the seams," board member Stefani Jerard said.

"This is something that we need to do."

District officials are only a few months from paying off the loan that funded the construction of the center 21 years ago.

If voters approve the expansion plan, the owner of a house with an average value of $223,500 would pay an additional $72 in annual property taxes, officials have said.

The net increase from the current rate, which includes the cost of the initial construction loan, would be less than $39 a year, officials have said.

"We're not going overboard," Burton said.

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