City gives eight-week timetable on restoration of hurricane-damaged building.
of the Martin Luther King Community Center continues, as the city plans to
reopen the facility incrementally in coming weeks and months.
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Hurricane Sandy the city-owned facility, at 615 Riverside Blvd., sustained two
feet of flooding that destroyed its heating system, bathrooms and kitchen, and
substantially damaged other areas of the building. While Long Beach Martin
Luther King Center Inc. is a nonprofit that runs various programs at the
building, including recreational and tutoring programs, the city operates the
childcare program at the facility.
the storm, though, the MLK building served only as a distribution
for donated clothes, food, hot meals, and cleaning and
hygiene supplies, as well as trailers where residents could take hot showers.
After pleas from residents to keep the
for this purpose into January, the city
obliged their request but that decision delayed reconstruction of the
Tuesday, the city took another step toward refurbishing the building when the
City Council voted unanimously to contract with the Flushing-based Heat Inc. to
install new gas boilers for the heating system at $55,000. Jim LaCarrubba, the
commissioner of public works, said that the city’s plan is to reopen the
building in phases, starting with the front of the building. Among the other
items to be replaced is the gymnasium floor.
working on the specifications now and should have that done within the next
week to 10 days,” said LaCarrubba, who noted that the new floor would be
rebuilt two feet higher.
repair of the facility’s roof is part a universal bid that involves other city
buildings whose roofs were also damaged during the storm. “We’re looking to
take care of them comprehensively rather than one at a time,” LaCarrubba said.
officials said that the total cost to restore the center is $200,000, and that
patrons can return to the building within eight weeks, according to Newsday
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