By LINDSAY WELBERS
MetroSquash, a nonprofit organization based in Hyde Park, will begin construction this week on an $8 million new facility in Woodlawn.
The building permit was issued last week by the City of Chicago and the building will open its 21,000 square foot facility at 61st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue next spring.
MetroSquash uses the racquet sport and its connections to the University of Chicago to mentor Chicago Public School students from 5th grade through college graduation.
When the new facility is complete MetroSquash will be the largest standalone squash facility in the Midwest and will be able to serve 300 students each year.
Currently MetroSquash only has space for about 150 students.
Moving south to 61st Street will enable the nonprofit to serve a greater number of students and better serve those in Woodlawn. The university lends its academic tutors to MetroSquash’s students and to date has donated use of its squash courts and academic space.
MetroSquash raised $6.5 million through a fundraising campaign over two years. The remaining $1.5 million for the facility will be paid for using new market tax credits.