Hays Recreation Center

hays1Location: 1311 West Church St. (Directions)
Phone: 217-398-2580
Fax: 217-373-7951
Bus Line: Orange & Gray
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Located in west Champaign, this multi-purpose recreation center provides quality educational, social, recreational, and fitness programs for preschool, youth, adults, and mature adults. The Hays Recreation Center is equipped with two activity rooms and is available to rent weekday evening and weekends for your next meeting, reception, reunion, or neighborhood social.


Progams & Classes

  • Seniors
  • Bridge
  • Champaign – Urbana Special Recreation

Special Events

  • Families
  • Kids



  • Originally was the "Eisner Food Store" owned by the Jewel Tea Company.
  • City of Champaign purchased in 1959 for $40,000.
  • City transferred ownership to the Park District on March 8, 1967 to be used as a recreation center
  • Was enlarged in 1975 at a cost of $170,553
  • Renamed from it's original name, "C" Center, to the Hays Center for Nelle G. Hays on May 29, 1985. ◦ Nelle Hays started work with the Champaign City Playground and Recreation Department in 1945. With the Playground and Recreation Department she served as a playground leader, craft specialist, director of special activities, and assistant superintendent and program director. When the Playground and Recreation Department merged with the Champaign Park District in 1969, Nelle Hays continued to work with the Park District where she served as the Director of "C" Center and as Senior Citizens Supervisor.
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