Marion Senior Center in need of repairs after Christmas weekend storm damage
Marion City Council approved spending up to $100,000 to pay for repairs needed at the Marion Senior Center.
Public Service Director Cathy Chaffin informed the finance committee when it convened on Jan. 17 that the Marion Senior Center had sustained damage after the building lost power during the severe winter storm that occurred over Christmas weekend 2022. She detailed the extent of the damage in a letter sent to city council on Jan. 11.
"With no power, the heat was not operational and caused the pipes to freeze and burst. This also caused the fire suppression system to freeze and split, crack and burst," Chaffin wrote in the letter to city council. "The electric outage was reported to Ohio Edison and power was restored late Monday (Dec. 26, 2022). It is unknown how long the power was out.
"Emergency crews for repairs were called to the center for evaluation and hopes of reheating the building. The center was closed due to no heat, water, and fire suppression. Initially it appeared to only affect a smallportion of the water system and repairs were quickly underway. This turned out to not be the case."
Chaffin said once power was restored and the pipes were thawed, repairs to and testing of the fire suppression system was conducted on Dec. 30, 2022, with the hope that the Senior Center would reopen to the public on Jan. 2, 2023. However, more extensive damage was discovered, she said.
"Once the fire suppression system was tested, pressure would not hold and leaks were in multiple places," Chaffin said. "From the storm, the center began to have pieces of the fire suppression system that were broken and, in fact, a large pipe fell through the ceiling. The ceilings were wet and eventually we had multiple ceilings coming down at the center."
It was determined that a new fire suppression system would have to be installed in the part of the building where the most damage had occurred, Chaffin said. She further noted that the hope is that the entire system will not have to be replaced.
"The total cost is yet to be determined, however, with the estimated damages, repairs and replacements required to have the center back in working order I can only estimate the cost to be in the neighborhood of $75,000 to $80,000," Chaffin said. "I am asking for an additional appropriation to cover any unforeseen costs as well. We are submitting this as a claim to insurance and hopefully the city will be reimbursed."
Chaffin said the Marion Senior Center remains closed to the public. She is scheduled to meet with fire investigators this week to discuss which options will best serve the needs of the facility.
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This article originally appeared on Marion Star: Marion Senior Center in need of repairs after Christmas storm damage