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December 12, 2015

“It’s a very, very old facility, one of the oldest that we have. We have done repairs as needed.”

Temporary solution sought while HVAC is being replaced GYM,

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The heating system at Lucious Sanders Rec Center, which has been out since December 2014, is so old that parts are no longer being made for it.


children are involved?” Wilson said replacing the HVAC unit is not something they “would take from the general operating budget.” “Lucious Sanders Center is not neglected,” he said. “We don’t neglect Roy Wilson any of our centers. It was just a matter of identifying the funds.” At the Nov. 17 Board of Commissioners meeting, districts 5 and 7 Commissioners Mereda Davis Johnson and Stan Watson allocated $220,000 from their 2001 Parks Bond Funds to replace the heating system that is so old, parts are no longer being manufactured for it. Johnson, who has represented the district since July, gave $120,000, and Watson, $100,000. Even though it has taken nearly a year to resolve the situation, Wilson said Thursday that installing a new HVAC unit at the center is a top priority for the county. “A purchase order was issued today to replace the system,” he said. Asked if there were any plans to offer a temporary solution, Wilson said he has plans. “We are putting in temporary heaters today or tomorrow,” he said. Hari Karikaran, the county’s facilities

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director who will oversee the replacement of the HVAC unit, said Thursday that Galgon HVAC & Mechanical Services will replace two Air Handler units at the center. “They are ordering the parts now,” he said. “We don’t have a start time yet, Mereda Johnson but as soon as the parts arrive we are going to start. We are going to get it done.” Johnson, who learned of the conditions at the center shortly after she took office, said they understand the urgency.

“We know winter is here,” she said. “Over the last two weeks we have been talking constantly about the lack of heat at the center.” She said she knew first about the lack of air conditioning at the center and found out three weeks ago that they do not have heat. “Bruce Street Senior Center and Lucious Sanders Recreation Center need many things,” she said. “There is only so much more you can pour into that building. A new center needs to be built.” Right now, Johnson said they have to look at options until the heater is put in. “We don’t want a fire there,” she said. “We may have to look at where they can play until

the HVAC unit is in it.” Parents and volunteers say the county opened a new Redan Recreation Center in July 2010 and a new Exchange Park Recreation Center in July 2011 and renovated the Browns Mill Center, but Lucious Sanders has never been upgraded or renovated. Wilson said that is incorrect. “It’s a very, very old facility, one of the oldest that we have,” he said. “We have done repairs as needed.” Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson said she has had conversations with the county about conditions at the center. “In summer, it’s very hot. Now the temperature has been dropping,” she said. “The situation definitely needs to be resolved.” Brown, the parent, said she continues to take her kids to the center because of the relationship they have with the people there. “We love the people,” she said. “The kids love the coaches. It’s like family there. It’s convenient to my home. This is my community gym. I shouldn’t have to drive across town to use another center.” Brown worries that if the condition drives away families, the center might be closed permanently. “We are not complaining about something that is not important. Are they trying to sabotage the center so it closes down? I do believe in my heart that they are trying to run the numbers down. All they have to show is that there aren’t enough children using the center so they can close it down.”

Macy’s at North DeKalb Mall closing by Jan. 30 Tree of Love kids need gift givers The departure of Best Buy will leave a Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewski called it STORES,

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proving business and shareholder value. She declined to say whether the move was motivated by declining sales at the location. “This move is an isolated decision around one location,” she said. “We will continue to review our real estate portfolio as any responsible business would do.” While the Conyers location will be 10,000 square feet smaller, Schumann said it will be surrounded by a “strong collection of retailers” that could generate more customer traffic. Conyers Crossroads tenants include T.J. Maxx, Old Navy, Michael’s Arts and Crafts, Coldstone Creamery and Crossroads 16 Cinema. The remaining tenants in the Turner Hill Marketplace plaza, operated by Diversified Real Estate, are Bed, Bath and Beyond and Toys “R” Us.

void and a longer drive for customers hunting for high-end electronics and appliances, though a small Best Buy shop will remain inside Stonecrest. The loss of Best Buy comes after the closure of Target in February 2014. The 124,717-square-foot property remains vacant. But all is not bleak. A new $3.8 million Nalley Hyundai dealership opened in August on Mall Parkway, joining a Kia and a Toyota dealership, also owned by Nalley, on the same street. However, it’s been a challenging recovery for retailers near Stonecrest.

Macy’s The Macy’s at North DeKalb Mall, which has been on North Decatur Road since 1965, began liquidation sales on Dec. 10. It opened as Rich’s and was converted to Macy’s in 2005 when the two retailers merged. Macy’s, which said in September that it is closing 40 stores nationwide by the end of January, announced the North DeKalb Mall closure on Dec. 4.

“an under-performing location” on Dec. 8. He said the company does not release sales figures for individual stores. The 190,000-square-foot store building, which is the mall’s oldest and largest tenant, has been sold to the Sterling Organization, which owns the mall. Macy’s 123 employees were notified on Nov. 30. Sluzewski said some may find jobs at Macy’s 17 remaining metro Atlanta stores, including stores at the Gallery at South DeKalb, Stonecrest, Northlake Mall, Perimeter and Lenox Square. Sluzewski said placement is not guaranteed but that Macy’s is committed to treating its affected North DeKalb associates with respect and openness. “Associates displaced by the closing may be offered positions in nearby stores where possible,” he said. “Eligible full-time and part-time associates who are laid off due to the store closing will be offered severance benefits.” After the closing of North DeKalb, Macy’s will operate 22 stores in Georgia.

Greene’s Fine Foods Squash Blossom

sweeten the season!

with seasonal specials at local shops and restaurants – and a free marshmallow (or four) at our bonfire on the square, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. decaturga downtowndecatur holidaydecaturga

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12/9/15 12:23 PM

More than 200 DeKalb children could go without Christmas gifts this year if residents don’t support the annual Tree of Love campaign that provides presents for kids in foster care, singleparent households and low-income families. The Tree of Love, started by District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson 17 years ago, is laden with the names and wishes of children who want to be “adopted” for the holidays. Individuals, families, business owners, churches and community groups can select one or more names, purchase the requested items, gift wrap them and return them Dec. 19 at the Tree of Love Christmas program at the Gallery at South DeKalb. Children generally ask for clothes, shoes, toys and books. The campaign kicked off at the mall on Nov. 21. Yvette Stevenson, who coordinates the program, said Wednesday that more than 200 names are still available. On Dec. 12, the Tree of Love will be at the Decatur Walmart at 3580 Memorial Drive from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, call 404371-2988.

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CrossRoadsNews, December 12, 2015  

CrossRoadsNews, December 12, 2015