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Easter Seals seek temporary St. John's area home following flood

The floor of the gymnasium at the Easter Seals headquarters may need to be replaced.
The floor of the gymnasium at the Easter Seals headquarters may need to be replaced. - David Maher

Building will be unusable for two to three months

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

An overflown toilet has caused extensive damage to the Easter Seals headquarters on Mount Scio Road. 

Extensive water damage to the building will require walls and insulation to be removed, while repairs to plumbing and the nearby well carry on for the coming weeks. While a dollar estimate of the damage to the building is still being calculated, it's expected the building will be unusable for two to three months. 

A number of rooms in the building require drywall to be removed and replaced, a costly and lengthy process for the charity.
A number of rooms in the building require drywall to be removed and replaced, a costly and lengthy process for the charity.

Samantha Parrell, manager of fund development and communications with Easter Seals, says a broken toilet led to the flooding. 

"The plumbing malfunctioned in the female washroom, and then overflowed. Then, the well went dry and the motor broke," said Parrell. 

"The sediment came up over the toilet, into the bathroom, and the water was sitting on the floor until a renter came in on Saturday morning and called our office manager to let them know we had water in our building."

While much of the equipment used for programs was not damaged, much of the boccia ramps were destroyed, as was a drum set. 

The washroom where the toilet overflowed is next to the massive gymnasium in the building. Parrell says the gymnasium floor is being assessed for damage.

"We're drying it out right now to see if we can salvage the floor, instead of replacing it. Things are looking OK," she said. 

For now, MacDonald Drive Junior High is playing host to the Easter Seals summer camp for the next six weeks. 

Plumbers work near the Easter Seals headquarters on Mount Scio Road, where an overflowing toilet caused extensive damage to the building.
Plumbers work near the Easter Seals headquarters on Mount Scio Road, where an overflowing toilet caused extensive damage to the building.

But Parrell says Easter Seals will need to find a bevy of new locations to continue their services throughout the summer.

"Right now, we need assistance for finding a permanent location for our Horizons program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in preferably a boardroom area. We also need office space for 14 staff for our administration, our programs and our career services, as well as our fundraising efforts," said Parrell. 

"Because of the damage to the building, our fundraising efforts have been affected, as well as our rental fees, which helped support over 20 programs and services we have."

Parents with questions are asked to email the appropriate contact person for the program or service as the clean up continues. Donations to support Easter Seals can be made through their website at eastersealsnl.ca.

Twitter: @DavidMaherNL


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