SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Decatur Youth Services must vacate building due to health hazard

There's a heating and cooling system issue that could cause a serious health hazard for the children.

Posted: Aug 9, 2019 5:15 PM
Updated: Aug 9, 2019 5:50 PM

The group that helps at-risk kids in Decatur is in a crisis of its own.

The Decatur Youth Services, which was housed in the old Brookhaven Middle School on Fifth Avenue, has been forced to vacate the building.

Kids don't live at this facility, but they do come there in the summer and after school for a variety of programs. The director said he's been prepared to pack up and leave and while he doesn't have a permanent home, he does have a plan.

"For them, it was like an older school. For us, it was the Taj Mahal because now we got space. We can do things," said Bruce Jones.

Bruce Jones is the director for Decatur Youth Services. He says the city informed him about two weeks ago they'd have to vacate the old Brookhaven Middle School because of an issue with the heating and cooling system.

"We're needed, we're respected, and we're making an impact, so when you do that and then you put your faith in it, you don't have a choice. You got to make it happen, you know?" said Jones.

In addition to the poor heating and cooling, Jones told WAAY 31 the school is also built on an old landfill. Now, 3M will test the area, including three other closed locations.

Jones has been leading the center for 25 years and he points to the program's successes in keeping Decatur safe and families together.

"We're not having young people killing each other to the number that it was. They're not in the gangs in the way that they were. So, we've done what they asked us to do. I don't want us to scale back," he said.

For now, they can use the classroom in their youth center for elementary kids. The city has also offered up meeting rooms at the Aquadome recreational center right next door.

The city and school district are now helping them find a gym and a place to house Jones's staff.

"We want to meet those needs and be a resource for them. We do whatever we have to do," said Jones.

Mayor Tab Bowling of Decatur told WAAY 31 the biggest issue is the heating and cooling system, not the environmental issues.

Jones says he'll be fully vacated in the next two weeks. He also said he had plans to work with more agencies and add more staff for next year, but those plans are now up in the air.

Huntsville/Redstone
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
Muscle Shoals
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 58°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Decatur
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 51°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 770940

Reported Deaths: 11321
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby867941476
Davidson81042849
Knox45328573
Hamilton40069459
Rutherford38014377
Williamson25081202
Sumner21216315
Montgomery17269209
Out of TN1676593
Wilson16258211
Unassigned15676125
Sullivan14239273
Blount13959178
Bradley12775138
Washington12693232
Maury12158160
Sevier11930161
Putnam10566168
Madison10065228
Robertson8901118
Hamblen7972161
Anderson7922156
Greene7270145
Tipton6908101
Coffee6281114
Gibson6174140
Dickson6169103
Cumberland6092120
Carter5938152
McMinn589190
Roane584496
Bedford5771117
Loudon564865
Jefferson5605117
Lawrence555181
Warren530375
Monroe529290
Dyer5225101
Hawkins520794
Franklin470884
Fayette464771
Obion435994
Rhea412973
Lincoln411761
Cocke396892
Marshall389254
Cheatham386844
Campbell379159
Weakley377859
Giles371795
Henderson361473
Carroll347081
Hardeman338064
Macon335573
White335066
Hardin330462
Lauderdale309642
Henry299275
Marion290942
Wayne286730
Scott285842
Overton283957
Claiborne275667
McNairy265852
Haywood264560
Hickman263640
DeKalb261849
Smith254236
Grainger241546
Trousdale238522
Morgan228837
Fentress228544
Johnson215938
Chester200647
Bledsoe198610
Crockett197147
Unicoi179947
Polk174622
Cannon174129
Union169931
Lake167526
Grundy167330
Sequatchie154525
Decatur153237
Humphreys152021
Benton150039
Lewis146425
Meigs125621
Jackson125034
Stewart123324
Clay106530
Perry102827
Houston102431
Moore94016
Van Buren79120
Pickett74723
Hancock49312

Community Events