Whenever plans do not work out the way they were intended, the best thing to do is keep moving forward. That’s exactly what the Boys and Girls Club of Ardmore will do after they discovered their new home did not meet city codes.
Thursday afternoon, The City of Ardmore informed the organization that the building they were utilizing did not meet various fire and safety codes. In order to ensure everyone’s safety, they were told they could not use the facility until all violations were corrected, and they must be out of the building by Tuesday.
Community Development Director Jessica Scott said the owner of the building had been informed of these violations before the Boys and Girls Club moved in.
“The city has done three previous inspections of the building over the past three years. All three inspections stated that the building needed a fire alarm, emergency lighting, exit signage, handicapped accessible restrooms, a hood suppression system for the stove, and a fire suppression system,” Scott said. She said the fire suppression system is a requirement because the building is larger than 12,000 square feet. The most recent building inspection took place in September 2018.
She added the city offered to let the Boys and Girls Club utilize the HFV Wilson Community Center free of charge for a couple of weeks while they looked for another location.
Larry Long, executive director of Boys and Girls Club of Red River Valley, said the organization would continue to have a presence in Ardmore, and parents of children enrolled in summer camp will be informed of their temporary location on Monday.
“There are several people in the community who are stepping up, and we’re getting all kinds of offers of places we can go. We’ve had offers from churches and schools, the (HFV Wilson) Community Center, and all kinds of people.” Long said. “I can’t say yet exactly where we’re going, but hopefully we’ll go somewhere for a couple of weeks while they get things fixed up.”
Long said their number one priority is taking care of the children.
“We’re not going anywhere. We’ve got 125 kids signed up for summer camp and we’re going to take care of these kids,” Long said. “We’re going to have a temporary location until the time comes when we can get back into the building. We’d like to stay in that location (on Maxwell Street) because it’s such a great space for the kids.”