SILVERDALE — People who had never been to the Pennridge Community Center before and came for the first time when some of the Bucks County Senior Games were held here on June 4 told Manager Debbie Scollon it was beautiful.
"You should've been here a month ago," she told them.
That's when repairs were still being made after a water pipe broke in the ceiling during a cold spell this winter.
Meals prepared at the center and some other functions continued, but most programs had to be temporarily closed before resuming May 22. A grand re-opening is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 23.
The broken pipe was discovered the morning of Sunday, Feb. 3 by a building attendant who called her with the news, Scollon said.
"I walked in and it was water up to your ankle, ceilings were falling down," Scollon said. "It was a disaster."
"The damage was extensive, stretching from the door at the end of the hallway where the Billiards Room is, all the way up through the hallway to the lobby and across to where the TV is, and down to the first landing of the steps on the way to the Thrift Shop," Ted Heimbach, the center's executive board president, wrote in the March-April newsletter.
The damage included new carpeting that had just been put in, Scollon said.
"We had to get the rugs replaced. We had to get the walls replaced," she said.
As of early June, new furniture to replace damaged items was still on back order from California.
That left Scollon and others at the center using plastic tables as desks.
"Furniture is nothing. You can still function on a table," Scollon said. "You don't have to have a fancy office."
She credited Assistant Manager Peggy Lewis with keeping meal programs going in the aftermath of the pipe break.
"We are a senior center and we have to give meals to people that need them," Scollon said.
Tax preparation services, rentals of the Legacy Room, which was not damaged, and trips also continued, while other programs had to be temporarily halted because of liability concerns about people being in damaged parts of the building, she said.
The computers were not damaged, she said.
Insurance money is coming in, but it won't cover all the center's losses, she said.
"Our instructors lost money," she said. "We lost money" from programs not being held.
Although the billiards tables were not damaged, there were costs to re-evaluate the tables to make sure the tables were level and to move the tables, she said.
Other costs included destroyed library books, she said.
The center's total loss probably won't be able to be calculated for about a year, she said.
The re-opening event will include photos of the center before the restoration, tours of the restored areas, center information and community information, a release said.
Volunteers, staff and the executive board have all worked hard to reopen the center, Scollon said.
"The community center is here for everyone," she said. "It's like a family."
Information about Pennridge Community Center is available at www.pennridgecenter.org.