SAVOY – A majority of Savoy residents want a fitness center/weight room and an open gymnasium in the new community center, according to a survey recently completed by the village.
In addition, there's strong support for including a game room (with pool and foosball tables) and establishing basketball, volleyball, racquetball and soccer programs.
Mike Kulas, president of the Volition video game software company, has bought the First United Methodist Church building at 402 Graham Drive for $460,000 and plans to add a high school sized gymnasium next to it for between $700,000 to $800,000 and donate it to the village.
Savoy hopes to open the new community and recreation center in the building by 2005, so the village board sent a survey to all households in the village to find out what they'd like to see in the facility.
Village Manager Dick Helton said nearly 5 percent of the households completed and returned the survey.
"Although the return rate was low, we did gain some insight on what the public would like to see in their community center," Helton said.
The survey indicates an overwhelming majority (88 percent) want a fitness center or weight room.
"I'd probably use a weight room if the village offered one," Savoy resident David Schultz said. "It would be great to have a place to work out before I go to work each morning."
"If the center included some treadmills and step machines, I'd probably go there four or five times a week," said Leslie Smith of Savoy.
While the initial plans for the community center don't include a fitness center or weight room, Helton said the village board has asked the project's architect, Architectural Spectrum, for cost estimates on adding one to the facility.
"The classrooms in the church building probably aren't large enough for a typical weight room," Helton said. "We want to at least find out the costs of including one since our residents obviously want one."
More than half of Savoy residents surveyed also want the facility to have some open gymnasium time.
"If they offered an open gym, I could get together with some of my friends and shoot some hoops," said Savoy resident David Anderson.
While the village plans to include shower facilities in the center, 62 percent of the residents said they wouldn't use them.
"The people who would use shower facilities, we think, would be the guys and gals who go in early in the morning, do workouts and go right to work, or come over the lunch hour and do the same thing," Helton said. "Most of the people who play basketball or volleyball will play their games, pack up and go home."
Savoy residents evidently would like the recreation center to open between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. and close between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The survey showed that 57 percent of Savoy residents would prefer either a 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. opening time, and 95 percent of the residents want it to remain open until either 8 p.m. or 10 p.m.
Nearly everybody surveyed (99 percent) wants the center open on weekends, with 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the most desired operating time on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. the most desired operating time on Sundays.
You can reach Tim Mitchell at (217) 351-5366 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.