TOULMINVILLE, Ala. (WALA) - Vandalism could not have come at a worse time, according to officials at Michael A. Figures Community Center.
It's a safe haven for children in the Toulminville community for the summer and Friday, May 24 was the last day of school.
D'mitri Crosby has been in Toulminville for 48 years. In fact, he helped build a safe haven for kids, Figures Community Center.
"It means a lot. That's why we had it built, we worked for this, for somewhere for the kids to go to be safe," said Crosby.
Neighborhood kids with whom we spoke say they use the community center daily. They play basketball, ping pong and socialize. It also offers free lunch in the summer.
Those activities are now on hold.
Officials said vandals ransacked the center's A/C units for copper and left behind some costly repairs.
"Once you strip that out, you have to replace everything that was destroyed," said Richard Safin, Mobile mechanical superintendent.
When we visited Friday, the temperature inside the front office was 88 degrees and inside the gym it was estimated to be over 90 degrees.
For now, the inside of the center is closed.
"It's a lose because we have designed so many programs for our young people as well as our adults and if they don't get to take part its a lose to the community," said Sherryll White, director of parks and recreation for the city of Mobile.
There is some relief from the heat - the community center's pool will open on time.
Officials first thought the center would be closed for more than a month, but are bringing in temporary units to speed up the process.
Crosby hopes its sooner than later.
"If you send them somewhere with goodness then you have no problem with badness. You can root out the bad apples. All of them are not bad," said Crosby.
Officials hope to have those units up an running in a week.
This is the third time this has happened at the community center and the city has installed motion detectors and cameras to stop it.
Mobile Police are reviewing the surveillance footage and investigating the case.
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