For years Robert Crown has been the home for countless ice skaters, hockey players and Evanston kids, and now with its new renovations, it will run for many years to come.
“The center was built in the early 70’s and is in need of major renovations,” Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Bob Dorneker said. “The discussion to renovate the center started back in 2001 as a result of discussion with the community.”
The fundraising first began over a year ago and is still going. Thanks to the generosity of the Evanston Community, the city has acquired $18, 294,000 to pay for the renovations.
The majority of funds will be spent on three parts: new ice rinks, a new gym and a new library.
“Currently, the center has one and half sheets of ice, which limits playing abilities. The new center will have two full sheets of ice, which will allow for expanded programming opportunities,” Dorneker said.
Robert Crown has served valiantly as a community center for decades, but the years have taken their toll. With this building makeover, the center will continue to help Evanston far into the future.
The renovations first got approved by city council in Jan. 2016, and after a year, the city has announced their plans to start construction.
The heavy construction will not take place until August, when the hockey season has concluded. The only drawback is that won’t be until summer, and Robert Crown is a hub for many young children camps. The current goal is for the construction to be done in September 2018.
The President of Evanston Youth Hockey Association has asked Robert Crown to keep a portion of the rinks open at all times.
“The current Robert Crown is definitely showing its age, especially compared to our opponents rinks,”Assistant Captain Lucas Zecker of the hockey team said. “The new Robert Crown will allow more hockey to be played, with more reasonable schedules, and better reliability. These improvements will make the EYHA program stronger than ever.”
Perhaps the most dramatic change coming to Robert Crown is the addition of the library. When Evanstonians think of Robert Crown they automatically think ice-skating or summer camps, but with this addition, Robert Crown will now help the growth of, and their sense of community.
These renovations for Robert Crown may only be just be beginning, but its effects will directly and positively influence and support years of Evanston kids to come.