A business that would offer swimming lessons to children is seeking city approval to open in a vacant building at 2008 Dempster St. on Evanston’s west side.

Goldfish Swim School partner Sally Anderson said the company plans to build a 25-yard, three-lane pool in the single-story building.

The company, which has 17 locations, including four in the Chicago area, offers half-hour classes once a week to children from four months to 13 years old.

She told the city’s Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee recently that the facility could handle as many as 3,000 students a week. It would have three or four full-time staff members and another three dozen people each working a few hours a week.

The building is part of a large office and industrial complex that has parking for nearly 400 cars and Anderson said Goldfish customers would probably use no more than 100 spaces.

2008 Dempster St. in an image from Google Maps.

The building most recently was used to house programs of the Music Institute of Chicago, which has relocated those operations to the lower level of the Galleria building on Sherman Avenue in downtown Evanston.

The committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the special use permit required for the business. The proposal now goes to the Zoning Board of Appeals and will ultimately require approval of the City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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