After 35 years, the gym at the Geneseo Community Center will be upgraded.

After 35 years, the gym at the Geneseo Community Center will be upgraded.

The renovations, which will take place this summer, will include a new gym floor, a new walking track surface, larger ceiling fans, updated paint and more.

“What we have now is all original,” said park district executive director Andy Thurman.

The community center opened in January of 1983, and the gym has been well used since that time.

The facility has an average yearly attendance of more than 80,000 people, with more than 6,000 individuals checking into the gym last year, not including youth basketball games or practices, volleyball leagues or other youth programs.

However, the years are showing in the gym, especially on the floor. The aging surface has started to pull away from the walls. Baselines painted on the floor are no longer straight as the floor has changed shape, and the surface covering bubbles up near volleyball pole inserts built into the floor.

MTJ Sports Flooring, of Kewanee, will install the new gym floor.

The new surface will be slightly thicker than the existing floor and will be designed for athletic use, said Thurman.

“It will still be OK to roller skate on,” he emphasized, adding roller skating was a priority when park district officials considered flooring options.

“The Prophetstown Park District has a surface similar to what we’re looking at. I actually took my roller skates there and skated on it as a test,” said Thurman.

The new floor will be lined for volleyball and basketball. However, in lieu of tennis court lines, which the existing floor has, the new floor will be lined for pickleball use.

Following the renovation, all door thresholds in the gym will meet ADA handicap standards.

The elevated walking track ringing the gym will also be renovated.

“Right now, the track is just carpet over plywood,” said Thurman.

A new athletic flooring will be installed on the track.

“Contractors will also look at the support boards underneath the track during renovation,” he said.

Access to the elevated track is via a spiral staircase in the northwest corner of the gym.

“We’re looking into the possibility of putting in a different staircase,” said Thurman. He’s unsure if space will permit a standard, non-spiral staircase, but park district officials are hopeful.

“We know there are a lot of people who don’t like the spiral staircase,” he said.

The renovation plan also calls for the addition of windows at the track level to let in natural light. The overhead lights at the gym will be changed for more energy efficient LED lighting.

The renovation project is expected to cost $250,000, and the park district has received a $125,000 grant from the Geneseo Foundation to help fund the updates.

The entire construction project is expected to take two weeks, during which time the gym will be closed to the public.

Thurman said the closure will occur during the summer, which is the time of year when the indoor gym is least used.