Yukon city leaders look to ‘save’ Jackie Cooper Gym

Concrete block, roof upgrades proposed to address water damage

Yukon Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Upgrades that could cost about $600,000 are recommended to help “save” a City of Yukon recreation facility.

Heavy rains have caused leaks at the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E Main.

“We found that we have some major problems,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said. “Water was seeping into the walls and coming through. Whether it had been before, we don’t know, but the building was never sealed.

“It is badly in need of repair.”

Repairs to the building’s concrete block walls have been proposed as the first step to save the facility from further damage.

Installation of a new roof is possible at the Jackie Cooper Gym, which was built in 1999 on Yukon’s east side.

Improvements have been proposed at the City of Yukon’s Jackie Cooper Gym to prevent further water damage to the building. The gym, 1024 E Main, was built in 1999. (Photo provided)

The Yukon City Council will consider approving the repairs at an upcoming meeting. Funds would come from the city’s capital sales tax account.

Council members learned the severity of damages inside and outside the gym during a presentation at their Dec. 7th work session.

Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort showed photos and detailed proposed improvements.

“We’re dealing with a building that’s almost 22 years old,” Hort told council members.

Salt in the existing block at the gym facility is “leeching out” because the block is not water repellent.

Some of the grout around the building needs to be cleaned out and re-tuckpointed.

“We’re talking about using a block filler to seal the block and the joints,” Hort explained. “We’re going to use a paint on it to seal that wall.

“Downspouts and any signage would be removed (during the repairs) so we could get a good seal on that building to keep any moisture from migrating into the inside of the wall.”

It will cost an estimated $181,000 for the outside wall repairs, which are needed before rains cause more damage.

“When this (gym) was constructed, the block didn’t have a sealant in it to prevent that water migration,” Hort told council members.

“What we’re proposing … would fix those problems that we have and seal those walls where we don’t have that moisture migrating in. Once that’s stopped, then we can do other repairs as we go forward.”

City officials will solicit bids from general contractors interested in the project.

Work would be performed by a mason and painter.

The gym is expected to remain open to the public during construction on the building’s outside.



A major upgrade to the Jackie Cooper Gym’s roof may be required to stop moisture damage from occurring in the building.

During one recent heavy rain with high winds, water was coming through the west wall.

The City of Yukon hired a roofer to insulate and seal an integral gutter along the north wall.

“We’re watching it right now to make sure we’ve got it taken care of, keep the moisture out of the building,” Hort said.

“We haven’t had a good rain since then to see how it works. Hopefully, we’ve got 90% if not 100% of that taken care for now.”

One proposal calls for the current roof to be removed and replaced with a new one that includes a gutter system designed so water drains properly instead of collecting on top.

Estimated cost is $585,000 to install a new roof, which includes sealing some (but not all) of the building’s block.

City leaders are committed to addressing the problems at the Jackie Cooper Gym.

“The whole idea is to save the building and do what we can do going forward,” Hort said.

The other option to build a new gym facility, which would cost at least several million dollars.


The Jackie Cooper Gym is “used constantly” by Yukon residents of all ages, Mayor Shelli Selby pointed out.

“We have to save this gym for this part of town,” Selby said.

Ward 3 Council Member Donna Yanda agreed this project is a must.

“I don’t think we have a choice,” Yanda said. “We have to move forward.”

Hort told council members that city management is striving to increase preventative maintenance of all city-owned facilities – some more than 30 and 40 years old – to prevent further damage.

“That is something the city manager has directed us, as staff, to look at and try to address those issues,” he said. “It is a big concern. Everything we have is old, and old takes a lot of maintenance and care.

“It takes money, and at times, we haven’t had the money that’s needed (for) maintenance. We have a little money now, and we’re going to try to use that wisely.”