Rec Center May Remodel to Keep Homeless Out

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The city council of Elgin, Illinois, is considering investing more than $500,000 in its Edward Schock Centre of Elgin with a particular goal in mind: keeping homeless members of the public out.

The facility, a 185,000-square-foot community recreation center with an aquatic center, fitness space and multipurpose areas, is currently designed in such a way where the locker rooms serving the pool area are accessible to the general public, according to The Daily Herald. A memo sent to the city council from building maintenance superintendent Rich Hoke and parks and recreation director Maria Cumpata says that homeless people have been using the showers and lockers located there.

“It has become a known issue that the locker rooms are being used by people who are in the building for no specific purpose, which is not the intended use of the locker rooms,” Cumpata said.

The renovation plan under consideration would remodel parts of the facility to ensure that the locker rooms can only be accessed via the pool area. Cumpata said that the renovation would help provide “patrons in the facility for specific purposes and programming will have a more secure locker room to use, as originally intended.”

Restrooms would still be accessible to the public under the renovation plan.

The memo also cited locker room thefts as a reason to consider renovating the space, although those incidents have dropped since the city replaced lockers with lock defects. Since the replacement of those lockers in February, only three thefts were reported — each from unlocked lockers.

What do you think of the planned renovation? Should homeless people be given access to shower and locker space, or should the facility restrict their access?

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