Community Impact: G-town Y discovers copper theft

“Community Impact” stories take a deeper look at an individual incident to explore how crime can affect quality of life in our communities. If you would like to share your story, e-mail us at newsworks@whyy.org.

 

In mid-September, the Germantown ‘Y’ re-opened its doors; a full two years after a sprinkler pipe burst and flooded the front half of the building.

Still, some repairs remained, says Assistant Executive Maurice Walls. Among them, the pool, steam room and sauna, he says.

Following the re-opening celebration, restoration work to those areas and others resumed.   That’s when Walls says he made a “morale-crushing” discovery: an estimated $20,000 worth of copper pipes was missing from the building’s heating system.

“The staff, the community, worked so hard to get us to the point where now we’re open,” Walls says. “and a setback like this, when we actually have little or no resources to remedy the situation really makes this bad.”

Walls suspects the robbery was carried out by one or more ‘Y’ employees at the end of March, when the heating system was off and largely obstructed by on-going construction.

He says the recreation center does have a 24-hour surveillance system in place, but that it automatically refreshes itself every 90 days.

Going forward, the Y’ will remain open as it scrambles to find funding to restore the heating system, which Walls says is especially important if the center wants to keep open its  148-bed shelter for men during the winter.

“ At this point we don’t have it all earmarked, “ Walls says, “ We’re just looking to see where we can get a dollar here , where we can get a dollar there, until we can get enough dollars to get it done.”

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