May/June 2020

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SINCE THE ROBERT CROWN COMMUNITY CENTER opened in 1974, the facility has been a mainstay for Evanston, Illinois. However, as embraced as it was, that hometown love had an impact. "There were so many reasons to love that facility," said Peter Giangreco, a board member of the Friends of the Robert Crown Center organization. "But we loved it to death. It was in a state of disrepair and was just inadequate." The love for the facility and the way it serves Evanston drove Giangreco and a number of others in the commu- nity to push for a new Robert Crown Community Center. That dream finally came to fruition earlier this year in a new building that is far more than just an indoor ice rink. A Well-Loved Place Since the day the original Robert Crown Community Center opened, it has been a hot spot for those in Evanston. The facility was the most used in the city with more than 150,000 visitors each year. While the community was embracing the center and its offerings, that was taking a toll on the quality of the facility. It also didn't help the original building was built on top of an old garbage dump, causing the soil underneath to be low quality and the facility itself was beginning to sink. "The old facility was just falling apart," said Ann Marie E Heiser, the recreation manager for the City of Evanston. "We had major issues with things from our compressors to a roof leak." The condition of the Robert Crown Community Center was well-known among Evanston residents. For years, dif- ferent entities had put together plans to either remodel the facility or construct a new Robert Crown Community Center. 20 / MAY.JUNE.2020 USICERINKS.COM PHOTOS: ROBERT CROWN COMMUNITY CENTER Featured Rink Robert Crown Community Center | | Evanston, Ill. ALL UNDER ONE ROOF Rejuvenated and rebuilt, the Robert Crown Community Center and Library breathes new life into Evanston, Illinois // by RYAN WILLIAMSON

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