It appears that the Central Lake YMCA facility will be saved.
In a press release issued Monday evening, Vernon Hills Park District Executive Director Jeff Fougerousse revealed that "the village of Vernon Hills and the Vernon Hills Park District have reached an agreement in principle with the Lake County Family YMCA to purchase the Central Lake YMCA, located at 700 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills."
"It's very good news," said Park Board President David Doerhoefer.
The Lake County Family YMCA, which operates facilities in Waukegan and Vernon Hills, announced Sept. 28 that it will permanently close the doors of both facilities at the end of this month.
The reason for the Oct. 31 closure, as stated in a press released on the Lake County Family YMCA website, is "due to insufficient financial resources to sustain operations on a long-term basis."
The village and park district have held a series of meeting about the possibility of purchasing the Central Lake YMCA facility. At a special meeting Oct. 23, the two parties agreed to draft a joint letter that included an offer of $1.4 million for the facility.
After two and a half hours of closed session discussions at another special meeting Oct. 25, the village and park district boards voted unanimously to "collectively continue to negotiate in good faith with the YMCA and their bank," Mayor Roger Byrne said at the meeting.
Doerhoefer said the framework of the existing deal was essentially put in place during the closed session at that Oct. 25 meeting.
"We spent today crossing the i's and dotting the t's," he said.
Per the proposed agreement, "the YMCA will continue operation of the facility until the Vernon Hills Park District closes on the purchase and commences operation of the facility no later than Jan. 1, 2013," according to the press release issued Monday by the park district. "The park district will continue providing the services of the YMCA including fitness membership, aquatic programs, daycare and after school care, at the current fees, regardless of residency status, for the immediate future."
"The only thing that will change is essentially the name on the door," said Doerhoefer. "On Nov. 1, it'll be business as usual. We look forward to having those (YMCA) members as part of our park district family."
"I give a lot of credit to the YMCA and the village. They had the membership at heart," he added.
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