NORD's Lyon Center is in my neighborhood. No renovations have been done since Katrina. Last July at the Mayor's Round Table I attended last August a representative from NORD said that the Lyon's Center was under Architectural review and construction would start the end of the year. No work has been done since then.
Last summer the pool was open and kids from all around went. These are kid who parents can't afford to send them to a summer camp. And it's hot down here in the summer. The pool is a safe, supervised opportunity for the kids to have some fun.
April, two men were arrested after doing over $300,000 worth of damage to the Lyon's Center. Here's what someone from NORD emailed us about the damage:
There was substantial recent vandalism to the facility:Why wasn't the building better secured and monitored? That much damage can't be done in a day. Plus when the arrest was made there was evidence that people were living in the center!
Room housing electrical breakers for pool area- Stripped wiring, electrical breakers and pool valves and mechanics-Total loss
Under Gym Bleachers as well as Restroom- Copper tubing for water lines stolen and cut-Total loss
Large Conference in front- Most copper electrical wiring in ceiling striped ceiling destroyed to get to the copper
Additional rooms throughout building- copper electrical wiring in ceiling striped ceiling destroyed to get to the copper
Restroom Facilities used in summer season 2008- Inoperable -copper waterline tubing cut and stripped.
We have assigned an architect to the project- have to get the contract through the process- but never anticipated this most recent and significant damage of this extent and nature that will now have to be addressed. Of course with our high insurance deductibles the repair cost will be borne by the most part by the City. There are bond funds available ($1.7M)which were supposed to go toward overall improvements which will now have to be used for this remedial purpose. There is little to no likelihood that FEMA will even entertain the idea of any funding to address that vandalism. It is my understanding that the thieves were apprehended but any help that Council could give making copper theft less attractive will greatly help our and thousands of others efforts in the recovery. We will do what we can but this is a major blow to that facility which will be exceptionally costly and time consuming to repair.
I have instructed MWH that the City will no longer use copper piping in the construction of any of our facilities; however, electrical system, the most costly in the construction, remain wholly vulnerable.
So I started a petition, to be presented this Friday at meeting with the City Council, NORD and FEMA, stating it is NORD's responsibility to do what need to be done so that the pool can be opened this summer. If you agree, PLEASE sign the petition and tell your friends. THANK YOU!