Walls going up and name change for Cook County YMCA

As anyone who has driven by the Cook County High School campus in recent days has seen, the walls of the new portion of the Cook County Family YMCA facility are going up. As the walls were started, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to change the name of the facility the Cook County Community YMCA – rather than family YMCA.

Commissioner Sue Hakes brought a request for the name change from the Community Center Steering Committee, some of whose members thought the word “community” sounded more inclusive than “family.”

In a memo asking Board Secretary Janet Simonen and Board Chair Jan Hall to add the request to the May 14 county board agenda, Commissioner Hakes said the Duluth Area YMCA, of which the Cook County facility is a branch, wanted to retain the right to change the name “should they acquire a naming-right-level gift.”

It would be nice to see the word “family” on the facility for people who are looking for family-friendly services in Cook County, Commissioner Garry Gamble said.

Regarding the two names, Commissioner Hakes said, “Personally, I love them both” but added that that she wanted to respect the wishes of the steering committee.

Commissioner Jan Hall said she was getting a lot of phone calls from people with questions about what the functions of the current Community Center would be once the new facility is in operation.

Commissioner Gamble pointed out that Community Center Director Booth’s job would need to be discussed.  The board will take this up at a future meeting.