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Building safe, just falling apart

Roof, plumbing and electrical repairs are needed at Community Center’s aging facility.

January 24, 2008|By Ruth Longoria

A recent rain and windstorm did a lot to prove the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge is in dire need of some roof repairs; it also went a long way to show the dedication of city staff to support the center. However, despite volunteer efforts, and the board’s decision to OK funding for necessary roof repairs, staff at the center is convinced it’s only a matter of time before the center needs to be rebuilt.

Large black tarps weighted down on the roof above the community center’s ceramics studio now accompany the clear plastic tarp tacked down on the adjoining roof. The tarps were placed there last weekend after community center board chair Penny Ledbetter made a call to Mayor Dave Spence to let him know about the buckets of water cascading into the ceramics studio and flooding the floorboards of the center’s main dining and meeting room.

“This past rainfall surprised us with even more leaks than we could have ever anticipated,” Ledbetter wrote in a thank you letter to city staff, recently published in the Valley Sun.

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What was more surprising than the amount of rainfall was the city’s prompt actions of assistance, especially on a weekend, said Megan Nordvedt, executive director at the community center.

“Penny called just to tell the mayor what was happening and he said, ‘I’m going to make a few calls.’ It was such a quick chain of events. The next thing I knew [city crews] were down here putting the tarps in place. And, all of the sudden the rains stopped coming in,” Nordvedt said. “Wow! I never expected such a quick response.”

Although the city owns the land and facilities, the community center is leased from the city, and, according to the lease agreement, it’s not the city’s responsibility to repair the roof, Nordvedt said. “But the mayor and the city were incredible. They didn’t just say, ‘It’s your problem.’ They could have done that.”

Nordvedt and a few of her co-workers were at the center on Friday night, Jan. 4, when the rain began. She went home that night after buckets were in place to catch the water that had begun to drop down from the ceiling. Although she went about her personal business, thoughts of the center weren’t far from her mind.

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