Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center reopens with a fresh, renovated look

The Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center has reopened after months of renovation.

“We are the really fortunate recipients of the Design for a Difference grant, which is a local nonprofit that donates the services and talents of local designers to transform nonprofit spaces,” said Bob Hemauer, president of the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center board of directors.

A total of 50 local designers renovated 11 spaces at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, including the food pantry, meeting rooms, the youth area and more.

“We opened up the space. It’s brighter. It’s more welcoming. It’s more inviting. It really reflects the character of the people we serve,” Hemauer said.

Hemauer said the center serves about 2,000 people out of their food pantry each year.

Storage rooms were converted to meeting rooms where small groups can get together in one space.

The Yahara room is used for a variety of activities, including fitness classes, dance classes, community gatherings and more.

The youth area now features a Lego wall, which visitors already say they love.

Cassandra Butler and her son go to the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center often, and she said this project was much needed.

“The old Wil-Mar, there were just like a lot of cracks in the building. The stairs needed work. So, now everything, like it looks more professional,” Butler said.

Hemauer is hoping that with the renovations, the Wil-Mar will continue to serve for years to come.

“Strong cities are economically integrated cities, and we’re proud to further that mission here. With this renovation and this capitol campaign, we are hoping to be able to do that for another 50 years,” Hemauer said.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.