NEWBERRY — Area churches and community members teamed up on July 21 to repair and improve the roof at the Free Medical Clinic of Newberry County, Inc.
Pamela Branton, executive director for the Free Medical Clinic of Newberry County, Inc. could not say enough about the individuals who played a part in repairing the clinic roof, a repair that first became apparent in 2012 when shingles began falling off.
Within the last year or two Branton said additional problems began to form with rotten wood forming at the back of the clinic and the gutter beginning to hang causing water issues.
“We just can’t say enough about this group of hardworking people and what they accomplished, they said they had a good time. It is so appreciated by the Free Clinic Board, staff and patients, we can’t leave the patients out because they have noticed,” she said. “Squirrels could have gotten in there, but we had put some wire up, there was a big hole in the back of the clinic and the shingles were falling off.”
Branton said despite not having any active leaks in the building, they discovered much of the wood underneath the shingles had already started rotting.
Board member Teri Murdock donated the shingles, Branton said there were promises of another organization to complete the roof, which was the reason why the shingles had been sitting for about a year. She said after the shingles sat there for a while, they were afraid they would no longer be good to use.
She added that having the roof repaired was a big deal for the clinic.
“The staff and volunteers are so excited that this has been done, we looked at trying to find another building, but couldn’t afford it, so we were at the end of our rope on what to do,” she said. “We have been needing this for years and it had gotten to the point where something had to be done or we were going to have leaks inside.”
Chris Wells, one of many who contributed to the project, said coming out to repair the roof was a group community effort.
“Shingles were purchased a year ago, they couldn’t hire somebody, I was talking to my pastor at Central United Methodist, he emailed churches and we all got together for a meeting,” he said. “It’s amazing what they accomplished in a day, it was a group effort from the community and churches.“
Wells said there is still more to do inside, including fixing sheet rock and the bathrooms.
Central United Methodist, Aveleigh Fellowship of Presbyterians, First Baptist Church and St. Mark’s Catholic Church along with the Rotary Club came together to help get the job done.
Billie West, West Electrical Contractors allowed the use of his equipment to complete the repairs along with new light fixtures, old shrubbery was also removed by Mike Dipner to allow for better air flow in the building.
The following individuals participated in repairing the Free Medical Clinic roof: Joel Long, Jerry Leignon, Sam Hart, Carl Johnson, David Jenkins, James Williams, Scott Bellows, Danny Hutchinson, Michael Reid, Rufus Berry, Thad Mays, Lee Downs, Efraim Recinas, Javier Recio, Garardo Ortiz, Santiago Hernandez, Chris Wells, Mack McDonald and Don Graham.
Branton said as far as further repairs to the clinic there is still more to come and if anyone is interested in volunteering in future projects to reach out to the clinic at 803-276-6665, 2568 Kinard Street, Newberry.