MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — After an August fire at the Boys and Girls Club in Muskegon, the organization says the damages total between $5 and $7 million.
“That is much higher than I thought it would be,” Monica Turnbull, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore, said.
It will take 6 to 12 months to fix all the damage, entirely clean up the facility and finish planned renovations, the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore said in a Tuesday release.
Originally, the facility planned to wrap up its renovations this fall. Now, the Boys and Girls Club said it could reopen in February at the earliest.
Cleanup of the soot that covers the walls and ceiling of 90,000-square-foot renovated facility continues, but that’s only part of the problem.
“The damages were primarily in the heat exchangers and the heat pumps,” Turnbull explained. “We have a full geothermal system that is regulating temperature in our building. And the air handlers were turned on the week before the fire.”
The system sucked all that smoke in.
Insurance will cover much of the costs associated with the damage — but not the lost revenue from the fitness center, which is also located in the building at 900 West Western Avenue.
Income from the fitness center helps support other Boys and Girls Club efforts, according to Turnbull.
“And without us having the additional square footage for the fitness center, we’re still running our temporary locations, but we do need community support to continue operations,” Turnbull said. “We’re going from serving 50 kids — we were planning to have 150 on day one. So now we’re back at 50. We’re trying to expand our services, and that is where the funding gap will come in.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore can do so online.
Youth programs will be offered at All Shores Wesleyan starting Sept. 11, and fitness operations will continue temporarily at Kingdom Life Church and Fresh Coast Alliance Training Facilities, according to the Tuesday release.
The Muskegon Fire Department called the Aug. 12 incident arson, and authorities are still investigating.
Investigators are offering a $20,000 reward for information about the fire that leads to an arrest or prosecution.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Muskegon Police Department at 231.724.6750, the Muskegon Fire Department at 231.724.6792 or Silent Observer at 231.722.7463.