Published on October 03, 2013
Robyn Brake of the Family Outreach Resource Centre in Corner Brook sets up the temporary play room the centre is using while flood damage repairs are done to the regular space at the centre on O’Connell Drive.
Published on October 03, 2013
A pile of debris sitting in the play room of the Family Outreach Resource Centre indicates the work being done to repair flood damage.
CORNER BROOK — It may only be for a week, but Tara Crocker and her kids have really missed not being able to go to the Family Outreach Resource Centre in Corner Brook.
Crocker and all the other families who avail of the various programs offered at the centre have been unable to go to the facility since a broken pipe flooded the centre overnight Monday.
Crocker has two daughters, aged three and two, and cares for her three-year-old stepson every second week. She takes all three of them to the children’s play group at the centre every Monday and Friday.
“We went there Monday and the kids are expecting to go there (Friday), but they don’t understand why they can’t go,” said Crocker. “They have some friends they only get to see at play group and they have a lot of fun there.”
When staff at the centre showed up for work Tuesday morning, they were met by gushing water coming from the kitchen ceiling. The water had flowed underneath the kitchen and into the adjacent washroom and then into a third room with laundry facilities and another washroom.
With the kitchen equipment removed and sections of walls in the washroom torn out, the centre had no choice but to cancel its scheduled programs for the rest of this week. Fortunately, there is a large vacant space in the upstairs of the building at 355 O’Connell Drive and the landlord has given the centre permission to temporarily operate there.
The staff has spent the past several days getting rid of damaged materials, moving items for programs upstairs to make the temporary space usable and contacting program participants about the disruption.
“We will re-open on Monday and, hopefully, we can do most everything upstairs and it’s not going to be too long before we can move back down,” said Bonnie Randell, the resource centre’s executive director. “It’s going to depend on how well the space works when we’re up there. We definitely do have a nice open space for our children’s programs.”
Crocker also attends the Basic Shelf program — which teaches parents how to make the most out of their food resources — and was hoping to attend the first Mom’s Group session Thursday. She will have to wait until next week now.
“It’s a great chance for me to talk to other mom’s about things they are doing,” she said of her experiences at the centre. “I can’t wait to go back next week. The kids and I love going to the programs there.”
Randell said the displacement will likely mean that programs that are set for a specific number of weeks will just continue later than expected.
While the property owner’s insurance company is still in the process of determining the extent of the water damage, Randell said the centre is fortunate it wasn’t worse.
“If the pipe had broken on a weekend and was left going all weekend, we would have a lot bigger mess,” she said.
Randell has not been given any indication how long it will be before the downstairs space is renovated and the centre’s operation can move back downstairs.
The remediation may have an impact on the centre’s annual Spooktacular event it hosts every Halloween. For that occasion, the staff turns the entire Family Outreach Resource Centre into a themed Halloween space that has become a popular place to visit for families with small kids.
“We’ll probably still do something around Halloween, but maybe not to the extent we usually do,” said Randell.