WHITING | Whiting Mayor Joseph Stahura hosts a public forum at 6 p.m. tonight to acquaint residents with upcoming projects and to receive feedback.
The session is at Whiting Community Center, 1938 Clark St.
“There are several projects I want to discuss with residents. Those include the rollout of the Stadium District plan, an update on various city projects and discussion of the future opportunities for the Whiting Community Center,” Stahura said.
One option being eyed for the Whiting Community Center is to lease it to the YMCA for a small amount and have that agency take over the operating costs of the center when renovations are complete, he said.
“This is a proposed deal, but no terms are associated with it,” Stahura said.
The deal would help the city make up $500,000 in annual losses from the Community Center, which was built in 1923 by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil Co. and is listed in the National Register of Historic places.
“The city would recoup the $500,000 as soon as the YMCA took over,” Stahura said.
Some residents have expressed concern about what changes that might need to be made to the Community Center to accommodate the Y's takeover of the facility.
Some of those concerns focus on the bowling center that features 12 bowling lanes. Eight of the 12 are original to the 1923 construction. Various leagues, including the Youth of America Bowling Association, use the bowling center.
The Community Center houses the Whiting Parks and Recreation Department, which has offered various programs and activities throughout the year with the center. Its facilities are open for public use.
In addition to the bowling lanes, other center amenities open for public use include two basketball courts, one walking/jogging trail, two saunas, two whirlpools, a swimming pool, a handball/racquetball court, weight and cardiovascular rooms, a billiards room, meeting rooms and kitchen facilities.
The Whiting Community Center has been the site of many activities for children and adults, including open bowling and open swim times, line dancing and the Senior Citizens Prom.
Private parties are also scheduled for the swimming pool, bowling alley, social room and banquet hall through the Whiting Park and Recreation Department.