Bernie Ward Center maintenance, rat complaints reach Augusta Commission

AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) - Forty years old now, the Bernie Ward Community Center is showing it's age.

According to it's director, the problems include roof leaks, a slippery gym floor, an obsolete fire alarm system & security cameras and even rats.

"We got a board in our club-room to keep the rats out, we got to poke Brillo Pads in the corner in the kitchen to keep the rats out," says Stan Brown who has been the Director at Bernie Ward for five years.

Commissioner Marion Williams called in Stan Brown to air his complaints about Bernie Ward before the Public Services Committee.

"I have three separate safety reports, all those issues make me liable, and it makes the department liable. I want to know what they're going to do," said Brown.

Commissioner Williams wants to know why Bernie Ward is having maintenance issues when other centers are not.

"Warren Road and a couple of other areas look brand new. Something's wrong when taxpayers pay taxes to keep the buildings up and make sure the stuff is being maintained. It hadn't been maintained," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

But other commissioners don't feel Bernie Ward is being neglected.

"There's a variety of opinions on that particular subject. The center is scheduled for renovations in the next year or so. Things don't happen a lot of times when people think they should," said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

Recreation and Parks Director Glenn Parker wouldn't comment on Brown's complaints, but Commissioner Marion Williams was pushing to know if the center is safe and whether it should stay open.

The City Administrator said she will send a safety inspector to visit the Bernie Ward Center on Wednesday to determine its condition.

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