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Mendota Y nears completion

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 10th, 2013


Purple stripes on the exterior of the new Mendota Y building provide a pop of color. Work on the new facility is expected to be complete by the end of October. (Reporter photo by Bonnie Morris)


MENDOTA – When the new Mendota Y building opens next month, the community will have access to what amounts to a brand new facility. Housed in the former B&M Motorsports building on Route 251, all that remains of the former business is the exterior shell.

Mendota Y board member Becky McPheeters said the inside of the building has been redone from top to bottom. “We changed the lighting, put in new heating/air conditioning systems, drywall is going up and an epoxy floor is being put in the main area,” McPheeters said during a recent tour of the building. “All the equipment is brand new - people are going to be very happy.”

The building’s main room is a large, open space with windows on both the north and south walls. This room will hold the Y’s Nautilus equipment, elliptical machines and cardio equipment. McPheeters said treadmills will face the south windows so people have an outdoor view while working out. In addition, every piece of equipment will have a small television attached for individual viewing and there will be four 42-inch TVs that will show programming announcements and activities available at the Y. The main room will also include a partitioned corner where free weights and benches will be available.

In addition to the main area, there will be a separate room on the west side of the building for various types of fitness classes. Named the Kanteen Room, the space will feature a hardwood floor and have a large storage area for equipment. Mendota Y board member Rusty Stachlewitz said they are currently in the process of deciding on the exact classes that will be offered. “We will have spinning classes as well as other cardio programs to be determined in the next month,” he noted.

Eventually, Stachlewitz said they hope to make the room available to rent for special events such as birthday parties, bridal showers and meetings. “It is all dependent on the level of utilization of the room for classes,” he explained.

Another feature of the facility will be a childcare room where children can play while parents are in the building. “This won’t be a regular daycare – it’s just for use while people are working out,” McPheeters emphasized.

Inside the main entrance and to the right will be a U-shaped desk manned by Y staff. On the wall across from the desk will be a large donor board with the names of all supporters, whether they gave time or money to make the Mendota Y building possible. Just beyond the front desk, lockers will be available. “We don’t have showers but we have handicapped accessible bathrooms, where people can change clothes,” McPheeters said. “The bathrooms have been enlarged and are completely new.”

The outside of the building and the landscape will also undergo various improvements. The parking lot has already been resurfaced and a few purple stripes have been painted on the exterior of the building, adding some spark to its appearance. McPheeters explained that they are required to stay within certain color guidelines using only the Y’s logo colors. “We chose dark red and dark purple for accents and lots of grays,” she said.

The building will also have a new sign along the road and a lighted sign attached to the building. McPheeters said landscaping will be completed in the next few weeks and two benches currently located at the Y’s lot on the north side of Mendota will be moved to the new building. “The benches are in memory of Bob Atherton from his memorial fund,” she noted. “He was a big supporter of the Y and served on the board for several years.”

Now that the building is nearing completion, both McPheeters and Stachlewitz are very pleased with the result. “We want this to be a gathering place. We’ll have a little coffee area with some chairs so people can sit and visit,” McPheeters said. “We hope area communities - LaMoille, Amboy, Paw Paw, Earlville - also come out and join.”

Stachlewitz agreed. “I am thrilled with the way the building is turning out,” he said. “It exceeds my every expectation and I’m excited for the rest of the community to be able to utilize the facility.”

Through the years, many people have worked to make the Mendota Y a reality. Originally, the Y board hoped to construct a new building. They purchased a lot at the corner of Rt. 251 and U.S. 52 in 1999, but funding for the building never materialized. The board eventually considered buying an existing building and began the search. McPheeters said when they looked at the B&M building, it seemed ideal for their purpose. “We would love to expand some day - build a gym,” she said. “One reason we picked this building is because there is a lot of room to grow.”

Many local individuals and businesses have donated time, expertise and money to the building. McPheeters noted that every contractor working on the facility has donated some part of their work or materials.

Mendota area residents will soon have a chance to view the new facility for themselves. Stachlewitz said they hope to hold an open house on Sunday, Oct. 27, however the date is tentative depending on construction progress. An exact date and time for the open house will be announced as soon as it is determined.

Stachlewitz believes the new Y building will enhance Mendota’s appeal in a number of ways. “I think it will have a positive impact on the community by keeping people in town for their workouts,” he said. “It will also make the area more appealing to companies considering the area for new development.”

McPheeters concurred. “I think people will be very impressed. It’s going to be a very nice facility.”














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