Archived Story

Boiler work means more bills for old structure

Published 9:20am Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CHESAPEAKE — As March goes out like a lion with blustery days and freezing temperatures, those who went to work — or to work out — at the Chesapeake Community Center on Monday felt the cold more than most. All day the temperature in the 1920s building never got higher than 45 degrees.

That’s because about two weeks ago, the boiler at the building went out. Now space heaters are giving out the only warmth that patrons and employees can feel.

“It went out all of the sudden,” Chesapeake Center director Ruth Damron said. “It had been limping along all winter. We would call them to come and light it and that would cost money. Then a couple of weeks later, it would go out again and then cost more money.”

At one point the center had to pay $3,200 to have new heating bars put in the 20-year-old boiler.

“Now we have to replace the whole inner workings of the boiler,” she said.

That means money coming from the center’s latest fundraiser will probably be diverted from its original purpose, which was to restore the gym floor.

“They are going to have to totally revamp the boiler and that will cost close to $20,000,” Damron said.

On Saturday, April 13, the center will host a small business fair where area businesses can rent space to display items to sell or to get more information about their company out to the public.

Right now 20 businesses have reserved tables including Castle Hairbows, Tupperware, Avon, Mary Kay, 31 handbags and Trina Trinkets.

“We are trying to raise money to finish the floor,” Damron said. “We have some money set aside for it.”

But at least $5,000 more is needed to pay for sanding and replacing some of the rotted floor boards.

Tables can be rented for $10, $20 and $30 depending on the amenities required. For $30 electricity will be provided, $20 is a free-standing table and $10 is the cost to have space on the bleachers.

The center has applied for grants to cover some of the cost of the boiler work but has yet to hear if any have been accepted.

“We are trying every source we can think of,” Damron said.

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