By Patrick Erwin, editor in chief
Inside Publications, which publishes weekly neighborhood papers Inside-Booster and News-Star, posted information on their Facebook page on Wednesday that indicated discussions regarding a YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago takeover of Truman’s gym were ongoing.
Truman’s spokesperson, Clifton Truman Daniel, responded to the story by indicating that no discussions were happening and no such deal was in the works.
According to writer Bob Zuley, Daniel specifically responded that “there is no privatization plan. It would be against our primary mission.”
In the December 2011 print issue of The Uptown Exchange, we featured an interview (on page 2) with 46th Ward alderman James Cappleman. In that interview, Cappleman specifically identified community use of Truman’s basketball courts and swimming pool as one of his goals. Currently, the use of much of Truman’s fitness complex space is restricted to members of Truman sports teams, as much of the space and equipment in it is in need of repair.
Concerns about youth recreation in Uptown have been ongoing; a controversy erupted last summer over the temporary removal basketball hoops at the Bronco Billy playlot. According to Cappleman and police, gang recruiting and drug sales had occurred at the lot, primarily intended for use by children 12 and under.