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Crown Point council approves YMCA expansion, NorthShore Health clinic

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CROWN POINT — The Dean & Barbara White Southlake YMCA has received a green light from the Crown Point City Council to expand its facility at 100 W. Burrell Drive. 

The special use variance was granted by the council during its Monday meeting, and comes after the YMCA's footprint was expanded after its lease with Franciscan Health was updated to include more land. 

The council approved the variance 6-0, with Councilwoman Dawn Stokes, D-2nd, abstaining. When asked why she abstained from the vote, Stokes said, "No comment."

Join Sandy Curry, Willie Hall, and Michael Quiroz as they ride for Superior Ambulance in East Chicago

The approval comes as the Crossroads YMCA announced last week a roughly $6.5 million expansion is being eyed for the Crown Point Y. 

Broken up into two projects, the multimillion-dollar expansion includes adding 2 to 3 acres to the east side of the Southlake YMCA to allow for two, 60-by-100-foot Urban Soccer Park fields, as well as 110 yards of AstroTurf, and replace an existing playground on the south side of the facility with a new Youth Activities Center.

Approximately 15,000 square feet, the new youth center will house the Y's gymnastics, dance, Ninja and cheer programs, as well as help with its preschool programs, Crossroads YMCA CEO Jay Buckmaster previously told The Times.

The outdoor expansion, which includes the three artificial turf fields, is slated to cost about $2 million, and the YMCA is eyeing a late fall completion for the project, Buckmaster said previously.

The new youth center is slated to cost between $4 million and $4.5 million, and is set to be complete in the late spring, early summer of 2022, Buckmaster said previously. 

The two prongs of the expansion project have yet to appear before the Crown Point Plan Commission, however, Buckmaster said previously he anticipates the outdoor expansion project to appear before the commission in August. 

The new youth center will likely appear before the Commission later this year, Russ Pozen with DVG Team, Inc., representing the YMCA, said during Monday's meeting. 

Also Monday, the council unanimously approved a special use variance to allow a medical clinic to operate in Strack & Van Til at 10851 Broadway.

Jim Wieser, attorney for NorthShore Health Centers, told the Council he has been before boards in St. John and Schererville with a similar ask after Centier Bank moved out of the grocery store. 

NorthShore has federally qualified community health clinics in Portage, Merrillville, Lake Station, Hammond, LaPorte and Chesterton, according to its website

"It's kind of modeled after a very successful program elsewhere in the country, and it's just designed to provide more like wellness care, and vaccines, and COVID checks, and things of that nature," Wieser said. "We're not expecting acute problems there."

Wieser said the clinic will be run by a nurse practitioner, nurse and a staff member, in a less than 600-square-foot space with two small exam rooms and a reception area. 

NorthShore previously estimated the clinic will serve 30 to 45 people per day; the clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed on Sundays. 

The council Monday also unanimously approved a downtown historic alcoholic beverage license for the West End Bar & Eatery, to be located at 15 N. Court St. 

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at mary.freda@nwi.com or 219-853-2563.

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