University YMCA
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Our Building

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Update: Spring 2012

One year ago, we celebrated the completion of the most extensive renovation to our building in its 75 year history.  In addition to a long desired elevator, we were able to replace the slate roof, renovate offices along the north side of the building and completely rebuild the bathrooms on the 2nd floor, thanks to the generous support from hundreds of Y friends.

But we didn't stop there.  I am pleased to report that over the past year, we have moved forward with a more modest Phase II of our renovation plans, including:

  • Remodeling of the 3rd floor lounge and upgrading two of the dorm rooms;
  • Constructing new office space in the basement; and
  • A complete overhaul of the Student Program Office in our basement made possible with a generous lead gift from Dale and Arlene Robb.

This past year we have also taken steps to help finance the maintenance and upkeep of the building by developing and implementing a plan to set aside 12.5% of our rental income to support three critical needs:

  • Operating & Maintenance Fund to pay for ongoing repairs;
  • Building Emergency Fund to cover significant, unexpected needs; and 
  • Capital Improvement Fund to help supplement future renovation projections.

Finally, using the Principles of Stewardship developed by our Building Committee and adopted by the Board of Governors, we are looking to the future with a major emphasis on sustainability.  Working with students enrolled in the University’s LINC (Learning In Community) program, we are exploring new initiatives that will provide a blueprint for future projects.  Each semester University students work in teams to research and develop proposals that we can implement as resources become available.  Last semester students investigated installing a green roof and solar panels on our roof and making the space more usable.  This semester students are examining the use of our parking lot and implementing policies to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation.  Future projects include renovating Latzer Hall and reducing water/energy consumption.

As always, none of this would be happening if not for our friends and supporters.  It is your generosity that makes this all possible and we greatly appreciate it! 

Update: Spring 2011

In February of this year we celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of the building to culminate the completion of our Phase 1 building renovations. Over 150 friends came to the Y to take a tour of the building and to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony held near the new elevator addition. Members of the Y Student Board led tours of the building. At the ceremony, we gave special recognition to Philip and Nina Martin whose generous donation covered nearly a quarter of the $2 million project as well as Senator Michael Frerichs and State Representative Naomi Jakobsson who helped secure a half-million dollar state capital grant.

Overall more than 220 individuals and organizations donated to this undertaking, which added a long-dreamed of elevator, a new roof, accessible bathrooms on the second floor and significant steps toward a green renovation of our historic building with the renovation of all offices and meeting rooms along the north side of the building. In April, we recognized the contributions of these supporters with a Building Dedication ceremony that featured the naming of our new administrative office suite in memory of Marjorie Larson, the beloved wife of long time friend and Trustee Bruce Larson; as well as the naming of our lobby after Walt and Carolyn McMahon.

The Dedication ceremony also signaled the next phase of our continuing work to fully renovate our building. Y Executive Director Mike Doyle announced a generous lead gift of $30,000 from Dale and Arlene Robb toward the renovation of the student program offices. And later in April, the Board of Governors voted to establish Designated Program Funds that would allow supporters to target one of five high priority program needs including further renovation of the building.

Finally, as part of our efforts to move toward a ‘green’ facility, more than two dozen University students enrolled in ENG 315, a LINC (Learning in the Community) class focused on developing new strategies and designs to guide future renovations and improvements. Their 90-page report issued in May provides a broad range of ideas and concepts. We hope that future LINC classes will help develop and implement specific recommendations.

For more information or to contribute:

Contact Executive Director, Mike Doyle, at or call 217-337-1500.

Visit our Designated Program Funds Building Page.


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