Case study - Teaming up to improve youth facility & lives

May 2, 2017


The Union League Boys & Girls Clubs recently completed the first major upgrade in 90 years on its historic Club One facility in Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood. This multi-phased renovation and expansion was a team effort between client, architect and contractor. Guided by Antunovich Associates’ design, Tandem Construction’s crew is the first in the U.S. to install Rockfon® Impact™ ceiling panels to finish ceilings within Club One’s diverse spaces.

In June 2013, the Union League Boys and Girls Clubs celebrated the grand re-opening of Club One, marking the completion of its $4.2 million, 19-month construction and renovation project that nearly doubled the facility’s original size.

ROCKFON’s ceiling systems met the modern performance and aesthetic requirements of Club One’s diverse needs and rooms. The most challenging applications were in the gymnasiums. For these areas, ROCKFON® products were provided to create a durable ceiling system that maintains a clean appearance, offers exceptional acoustic performance and withstands regular impact from errant balls and other daily athletic activities.

The new and expanded Club One is expected to help increase membership by up to 25 percent, serving 800 new members. Average daily attendance at Club One is expected to double. For nearly 100 years, the building on West 19th Street in Pilsen has been synonymous with the Union League Club’s positive community involvement and outreach. 

Constructed in the 1880s, it began with a very different purpose as home to The Chopin Club saloon. Early in its history, the site became notorious for multiple murders that
occurred in and near the property, and a source of deep concern for Chicago’s Lower West Side community.

The Union League Club purchased the structure in 1919 and transformed it into a source of community pride. By 1920, it converted a community hall within the building and established a Boys Club to help provide structured activities for underprivileged youth. As time passed, the Union League Club’s mission grew to serve increasing numbers of boys and girls who were in-need and at-risk.

In 2011, the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs celebrated the next phase in their living legacy with the groundbreaking for a four-story, 17,000-square-foot annex. This addition was constructed adjacent to the main structure and completed in July 2012. The second phase of Club One’s major facility upgrade required a total renovation of the existing 18,000-square-foot facility. Walls between the original and new buildings were opened to connect all four floors.

Club One’s combined space now offers gymnasiums, weight rooms, locker rooms, classrooms, a library, a technology center, a dance room, a craft room, a new science laboratory, expanded kitchen amenities, as well as modernized infrastructure, universal design enhancements and updated finishes. The entire facility also is now fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)...

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