About five months after a minivan crashed through the front of the Petal Children’s Task Force building on South George Street in Petal - forcing the organization to alter its operations somewhat - officials are on track with repairs to the facility.
With the help of Verge Entrance Solutions, a new glass door has been installed in the front of the building, replacing sheets of plywood that had been put up as a temporary measure. The new door will open automatically on one side, allowing clients easy access to the inside of the building to pick up food boxes and other supplies.
“It’s awesome,” said Demaris Lee, executive director of the task force. “It’s going to be wonderful, because we’ve gone for (several) months trying to just accommodate with all that boarded up.
“(Verge) came in and took a wall out for us, so it’s going to make a bigger area for our vegetables and bread, and for people to come in, so we’ll have more room for all of that now. Then they made one more little office for us, for my office down there.”
The vehicle accident occurred shortly after 10 a.m. Feb. 19, when an elderly woman ran the vehicle through the front door and into the back storage area of the building. Officials said the woman had arrived at the building with her sister to pick up a food box.
“She went to put on the brake, and her foot slipped off of the brake and she hit the accelerator,” Petal Police Department Chief Matthew Hiatt said after the accident. “She was transported to a local hospital complaining of pain, but no apparent significant injury. Nobody inside the building was hurt, thankfully.”
After the wreck, officials at the task force continued service at the roll-up door on the south side of the building.
“It’s been working out good, but we need to get back to our old way because we’re losing so much cool air,” Lee said. “Our power bill is going to be so expensive."
Because the task force building is owned by Asbury United Methodist Church, officials from that organization worked with insurance for repairs.
“We were able to work with that, and actually people have helped us,” Lee said. “We got a good price and everything, because they’re trying to help the organization out.
“But they installed the door (on July 15), and they were working to make adjustments and everything. Then the painter is going to come in. I can’t tell you exactly when it’s going to be finished, but hopefully within a week we’ll be through. We want to say thank you to everybody who has helped us, the volunteers and everybody. Brad Baggett, Overhead Door (Verge Entrance Solutions) and Drew Brickson, because Drew has looked over it."
On a side note, anyone interested in receiving fresh, free eggs is encouraged to bring empty egg cartons to the task force building, which is located at 314 South George Street.