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Staff at fire-damaged MAX Athletics building look for facilities to continue programs

Fire caused extensive damage to the Mount Pearl Max athletics location Thursday morning. Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Fire caused extensive damage to the Mount Pearl Max athletics location Thursday morning. Keith Gosse/The Telegram
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Representatives for the MAX Athletics Centre in Mount Pearl, which was forced to close as a result of a fire early Thursday morning, are close to finding alternative arrangements to continue programs.

According to an email sent Friday to registered members, including parents of children enrolled in various programs, MAX is looking for outside help to find short-term accommodations until the building is accessible.

“Over the last 24 hours, our team has been working non-stop to find solutions that will minimize disruptions to all our customers as we fully intend to keep programs running,” the email states. 

But with more than 800 members, including almost 300 children in its pre-school and after-school programs, “this has not been a simple task.”

Representatives say they are working with the City of Mount Pearl, the Town of Paradise and several others to find alternate spaces that will allow them “to continue to offer the same level of service and experience that we always have at 1 Olympic Drive.

“Of course, we will also utilize our own existing facilities where possible.”

The email states staff is close to finalizing arrangements and will provide updates in the coming days.

The fire broke out about 4 a.m. Thursday and was first spotted by an off-duty firefighter, Chris Cooper, who passed by while driving his wife to the airport. He immediately notified his colleagues, who were there in minutes.

Parts of the building, including a section of the roof, were heavily damaged by the blaze, while other areas saw smoke damage. No one was in the building at the time and there is no word about what caused the fire.

The fire forced the cancellation of programs, which left many parents scrambling to find alternative child care and other activities for their children.

MAX’s email Friday said, “We’d like to thank everyone in our Mount Pearl community for the outpouring of support in the aftermath of yesterday’s fire at 1 Olympic Drive. 

“Your patience and understanding as we begin to navigate what this incident means for us is deeply appreciated.

“We truly understand that this time of uncertainty is challenging for everyone and we assure you that we are working as fast as possible to get you the information you need.”

rosie.mullaley@thetelegram.com
Twitter: @TelyRosie

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