AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The Salvation Army Kroc Center will be closed Saturday after heavy rain caused major leaks. Employees say they started noticing leaks throughout the building around 1 p.m., and it’s only going to get worse.
The Kroc Center of Augusta does a lot for the community.
“We have café of course where we sell awesome food. We’ve got a swimming pool, a gym, it’s a banquet hall, said Kroc Center chef Chris Lee. “We have a theater, a church….It’s basically…anything you want to do under one roof.”
The $33.9 million dollar facility is only five years old. so it came as a shock when heavy rain from tropical storm Hermine started leaking inside Friday afternoon.
“The damage is pretty extensive,” said Capt. Philip Canning, the Salvation Army’s area commander. “And of course we know there’s more damage to come as there’s water that’s sitting around in the roof, in the ceilings. And it’s just looking for the easiest way to come out. So we know that throughout the night, we’re going to incur more damage than we can see right now.”
The damage forced them to close early Friday, cancelling an anniversary celebration booked in their event space. The Community Center will be closed Saturday as well.
“They are so disappointed, Lee said. “So many people just..they’e upset. There’s people who they come in every morning for breakfast and same thing for swimming pool–they come to do their aerobics in the pool. And they’re really disappointed that we’re closed all these days.”
Employees are are also feeling the effects.
“I mean off for a few days is going to kill our hours,” Lee said. “It’s really going to hurt our hours.”
The Salvation Army had been preparing to serve the community at its Center of Hope on Greene Street. should people need shelter from the storm, but never expected its community center on Broad Street would be among the hardest hit.
“We spent time organizing our team, getting volunteers together so that whenever that call came in…we would be ready to go,” Canning said.
He says he’s not sure what caused the leak, and they’re having roofers come check it our tomorrow. He also says it’s unclear when they’ll re-open, and right now they’re just taking it day by day.