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Boys & Girls Club recovers from Carnegie floods

| Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For Trib Total Media
Clara Keller, 8, of Carnegie paints a cardboard doll house in the arts and crafts room, one of many rooms that was damaged by recent flooding at the Carnegie Boys and Girls Club.
Randy Jarosz | For Trib Total Media
Children make crafts in the arts and crafts room, one of many rooms that was damaged by recent flooding at the Carnegie Boys and Girls Club.
Randy Jarosz | For Trib Total Media
Simon Moore, 6, (left) and Andrew Moore, 9, both of Scott Township color in the arts and crafts room, one of many rooms that was damaged by recent flooding at the Carnegie Boys and Girls Club.

A month after a heavy rain damaged the Carnegie Boys & Girls Club, children and staff have resumed a daily summer camp program there.

The Washington Avenue building took on water on June 28, after 1½ inches of rain fell in 30 minutes in that section of the borough.

The club, which has operated in Carnegie for almost 65 years, incurred $50,000 in restoration costs. Insurance will cover half and Danielle Bauer, the club's executive director, said the organization hopes to raise the rest in donations.

The Boys & Girls Club now has a new wooden floor, replacing carpet that was submerged and damaged. Nearly 100 children ages 5 to 12 in the summer program attended activities for a few weeks at the Sto-Ken-Rox Boys & Girls Club in McKees Rocks, which offered swimming in addition to gym, art classes, computer lab and outside play.

“We didn't miss a trick,” Bauer said. “It was nice of the club to take us in.”

Flooding damaged the entire lower level of the Carnegie building, including a computer lab, Tai Kwon Do space, a recording studio funded by Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation and an arts and crafts room.

Commercial cleaners started work that night, vacuuming and drying rooms. Other contractors later removed the carpet and baseboards.

Children's Adventure Learning, a day care center in the building, lost three days of business while restoration work was done. Owner Kris Sontag has rented space in the club for 23 years.

“It was difficult for the working parents and hard on business,” she said, as the 35 children that attend the center found alternative places to stay. “It was a hardship, but the parents were understanding.”

Work at the club continued through the first two weeks of July, and the center never closed.

Nine neighborhood Boys & Girls Clubs operate across Allegheny County, with the mission of encouraging academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship.

Bauer said she works with 11 staff members and an active local board of directors. All the Boys & Girls clubs are funded through fees for programs, plus private and corporate donors and foundations.

Less than $3,700 has been raised so far for the campaign to cover flood-related expenses. Gifts will be tallied daily through September at the website www.youcaring.com/ carnegiebgcflood.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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