Parents concerned about mold, mildew at recreation center

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - David Proctor's 23-year old son, Benjamin, is a regular at the Montgomery Therapeutic Recreation Center.

"It has been something Ben has gone to for 15 years. And he has learned a lot. He has done a lot," says Proctor.

Proctor has nothing but good things to say about the center's programs, but when it comes to some of the facilities?

"It's scary looking," he adds.

The Proctors and other families worry mold and mildew in the locker rooms and around the pool is bad for their children's health.

That's why nearly 20 parents shared concerns with the Director--Fredrick Thomas.

"I get quite a few complaints in regards to our locker rooms and pool area," says Thomas.

Thomas adds he's aware of the problem and that mold and mildew in the locker rooms have decorated the walls for years.

"We have used every substance that we could find to try to clean it," he says.

The building has been around since before the 1970s.  That's when the City of Montgomery got it from the YMCA and turned it into the therapeutic center.

Thomas says that means some areas don't comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990--legislation ensuring proper standards for any disabled person facility.

"All those items, the plumbing fixtures...not ADA," says Thomas.

He admits finding the money to renovate is difficult especially when leaky showerheads hike up the water bill.

But thanks to a grant, the locker rooms and indoor pool area are getting an overhaul.

"There will be total renovation from the top to the bottom and from side to side," says Thomas.

Proctor says he's heard that before and hopes this time is different.

"It would mean the world to these kids and to the parents.  When the city lets loose of the money and we see the work crews, I'll believe it's going to happen," he says.

Thomas is confident construction will start on the locker rooms and pool area within the next two months. He says all the renovations will comply with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and allow for even more residents to use the center.

As of now, there is no timetable for when the project will be finished. The locker room and pool areas will be closed during the construction.

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