YMCA gets funding for roof work

Published 4:51 am Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Bogalusa YMCA will be receiving a new roof in the coming months, after the community organization learned it was the recipient of special state funds for the needed improvement project.

The total cost of the roof replacement is $161,300, which includes a 25-percent local match. Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said that the city government will contribute $31,333, and the rest will be received as funding from the state.

“For every $1 you spend, you get back $3,” said State Rep. Malinda White, who helped secure the funding. “It’s a great deal for our area, and it’s something that’s been needed for years.”

White explained that when the state has a surplus compared to its budget, the extra funds must either go into a “rainy day” account, or be used for much-needed capital outlay projects. Bogalusa has been seeking the YMCA roof work as an improvement project for many years, but this year it finally received the funding.

“It’s a win-win for our entire community,” Perrette said.

Perrette noted that the YMCA essentially serves as the “recreation center” for the city of Bogalusa. In addition to providing exercise opportunities, the YMCA also offers youth tutoring and art classes, among many other activities. It also serves as a shelter in emergency situations.

Stuart Parker, chief volunteer officer at the YMCA, said that the roof has been patched up for years and it is good to finally get a chance to start anew.

“We would repair it, and then six weeks later after a heavy rain it would be leaking again,” Parker said. “Right now, we’re at a point where it’s almost exceeding what we can handle. There are several rooms with buckets to catch the water.”

Parker said that if there is enough money left over in the project, the YMCA will also try to make additional improvements. He would like to work on the pool and skate park, especially.

Perrette said the city began making requests for funding in 2002, and has continued to ask for the funding every year since.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a long time,” she said. “We’re excited to see it happen.”

Parker also thanked State Sen. Beth Mizell for her assistance in helping the project happen.

It is expected the new roof will be built some time in 2019.