Clients give thumbs-up to Centro's new digs in Elgin

  • Executive Director Jaime Garcia shows off one of three rooms that house the emergency food bank at the new location of Centro de Informacion in Elgin, which opened Monday at 1885 Lin Lor Lane.

    Executive Director Jaime Garcia shows off one of three rooms that house the emergency food bank at the new location of Centro de Informacion in Elgin, which opened Monday at 1885 Lin Lor Lane. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Parent educator Helen Lopez Strom said having an office instead of a cubicle gives clients their privacy at the new location of Centro de Informacion on Lin Lor Lane in Elgin.

    Parent educator Helen Lopez Strom said having an office instead of a cubicle gives clients their privacy at the new location of Centro de Informacion on Lin Lor Lane in Elgin. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Centro de Informacion opened Monday at 1885 Lin Lor Lane in Elgin.

    Centro de Informacion opened Monday at 1885 Lin Lor Lane in Elgin. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • The new Centro de Informacion location at 1885 Lin Lor Lane features a larger waiting room and play area for kids.

    The new Centro de Informacion location at 1885 Lin Lor Lane features a larger waiting room and play area for kids. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Executive Director Jaime Garcia pokes his head inside Cheryl Wilkins' office at the new location of Centro de Informacion in Elgin.

    Executive Director Jaime Garcia pokes his head inside Cheryl Wilkins' office at the new location of Centro de Informacion in Elgin. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/26/2018 4:08 PM

When the new location of Centro de Informacion in the west side of Elgin opened to the public at 9 a.m. Monday, there was an atypical lack of people waiting to get in the door.

"We were worried at first," Executive Director Jaime Garcia said, not entirely jokingly. But normalcy at 1885 Lin Lor Lane began to settle in when the first client walked in about an hour later. The waiting room was bustling by noon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Client Mario Cabrera of Lake in the Hills said he liked the new space, although he had difficulty finding it using Google Maps. "Now that we know it's here, it's good," said his companion, Vianey Tello.

Vicente Lopez, who accompanied his wife to an appointment, also said he liked the new digs, even if the nonprofit's former downtown location was much closer to his house.

There are two bus stops nearby along Pace Bus route 548. Garcia said he's working with Pace to add a stop in front of Centro.

Centro closed its downtown office Feb. 14 after the building was put up for sale. Its new building on the Presence St. Joseph Hospital campus used to house a nunnery and most recently the hospital's accounting department.

The new 7,200-square-foot space is larger than the old offices but lacks a basement, so storage is an issue, Garcia said. One solution might be to electronically scan old client files, he said.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Centro's 11 staff members each have their own office, including parent educator Helen Lopez Strom, who used to have a cubicle. "It's nice for the privacy of the clients," she said.

Assistant Director Cheryl Wilkins said she misses the downtown location but is happy with the new one. "The space works so well. We have two conference rooms, three rooms for our emergency pantry, a yard, a big parking lot with disabled (spaces) right by the door," she said. "It's a step up for Centro."

Centro received donated board room furniture from the former Elgin office of Neighborhood Housing Services, and a refrigerator and freezer from Northern Illinois Food Bank, Garcia said.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.