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Boys & Girls Club facing a hot dilemma
New air conditioning unit to cost $23,500
boys and girls club
Ashlee Corbin, far left, presents a $5,000 check to the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County on behalf of the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro. Mike Jones, far right, executive director at the Club, and several children accepted the check that will go to paying for a new air conditioner. - photo by Special

The main air conditioner at the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County is on its last leg, and technicians are keeping it on life support while Executive Director Mike Jones awaits the arrival of a new unit.

The good news is, the unit has been ordered. The downside is, it will cost $23,500, and the Boys & Girls Club is in dire need of donations to help defray the cost.

“We’re keeping it pumped full of Freon,” Jones said, but the old unit’s condenser and coils have so many holes, the cooling agent doesn’t stay long.

The unit is almost 15 years old and “has been piecemealed and patched together” for so long, there isn’t anything to do to save it, he said.

The 25-ton unit heats and cools the common room and the gymnasium. Individual classrooms are independently cooled and heated, and if push comes to shove, the 300 kids that arrive daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for summer programs can be housed in those, he said. But that would mean overcrowding.

“It is warm, but right now it is bearable,” Jones said. But with temperatures reaching the high 90s with heat indices in triple digits, he hopes the old unit will limp through until the new one arrives in about four to six weeks.

Jones said community donations are urgently needed. The money has already started coming in, but there is a long way to go to completely fund the new unit.

The Statesboro Kiwanis Club donated $5,000 toward the cause and may be able to contribute further, said Statesboro Kiwanis Club President J.D. Dunn.

Upon receiving an email from Jones last week, Dunn met with the club’s board of directors after a meeting and the board members “said we’re all for it,” he said. “Our mission at Kiwanis is to help young people, and this is right up our alley.”

Ashlee Hooks Corbin, Statesboro Kiwanis club media and marketing chairman and also a member of the board of directors, said, “It wasn’t a hard decision of whether to donate; it was a hard decision as to how much we could donate.”

Jones said there are links on the Boys & Girls Club website (https://bgcbulloch.org) and the club’s Facebook page where people can donate toward the goal.

 

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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