YMCA seeks donations after flooding caused 2.5M damage

YMCA seeks donations after flooding caused 2.5M damage

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Virtually nothing remains inside a YMCA facility that encompasses 60,000 square-feet in a Baton Rouge.

"There is no flooring in the entire building anymore," said Bob Jacobs, President/CEO of the Capital Area YMCA. "Most of the workout equipment was damaged. We lost three vehicles."

The C.B. Pennington Jr YMCA took in about three feet of flood water on Sunday, August 14. Jacobs estimates a total loss of about $2.5 million. The facility had an estimated value of roughly $11 million.

"This isn't an excuse, but we were not located in the 100 years flood plain. We are a nonprofit organization, so we didn't have flood insurance," Jacobs explained.

This was the only Baton Rouge YMCA facility that was damaged by flooding. Eight other locations remain open.

"It opened in 1979," said Jacobs regarding the history of the facility. "It was one of the three Y's that was an early initiators in the community."

The first YMCA location was based in downtown Baton Rouge where the currently Mentorship Academy is currently located. Next year will be the 100 year anniversary for the Baton Rouge operations.

"We are hoping to redeploy the fitness instructors to the other locations so people will be able to find their favorite classes," said Jacobs. "While all the stress is happening in the community, you're best health saving plan is working out and eating healthy and we realize that will be difficult during these times."

Jacobs hopes to reopen the C.B. Pennington Jr location in phases.

"Youth sports would be easiest because those are based outdoors," he said. "Swimming would be another priority. And then we do have some fitness equipment that wasn't damaged. We do hope to bring group exercise back.

"It's a lot of moving parts," he added.

Those wishing to volunteer time or resources can contact Bob Jacobs at bjacobs@ymcabr.org.

Monetary donations can be made online at ymcabr.org with the following notation with your contribution: "Louisiana Flood 2016." Checks can be made payable to YMCA of the Capital Area, earmarked "Louisiana Flood 2016."

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.