Whitsunday PCYC branch manager Sergeant Billy Li at the facility which staff have finally been able to move back into.
Whitsunday PCYC branch manager Sergeant Billy Li at the facility which staff have finally been able to move back into. Monique Preston

Sergeant calls for input as staff finally move back to PCYC

STAFF have finally been able to move back in to the Whitsunday PCYC building, two and a half years after Tropical Cyclone Debbie wreaked havoc.

The Shute Harbour Rd building reopened for a short time in October 2017 - seven months after the cyclone - however staff were forced to close it again two months later after heavy rain inundated the building due to the roof not being fixed properly.

When staff returned after their Christmas holidays the facility was taken over by mould.

While the team has finally been able to return to the building, Whitsunday PCYC branch manager Billy Li said there was still a lot to be done to build up activities again.

Some activities and groups were able to be held in parts of the building that were not badly damaged, but much equipment had to be either thrown out or packed away.

Kinder play, an over 50s circuit class, pilates, PCYC choir, youth management team and after-hours school care groups have been running, but Sgt Li is looking forward to adding other activities.

He wants to reinstate a gymnastics class in the sports hall by next year, but has to find a new coach as the last one moved out of the area due to the building's closure.

More insurance money is also needed to buy equipment to replace the old gear which was ruined either by the cyclone or mould.

"At least half had to be thrown away," Sgt Li said.

He also hopes to build on the gymnastics by adding parkour and possibly a Ninja Warrior-style frame to attract more youngsters.

Sgt Li also hopes to start running boxing and boot camps in the hall, as well as starting a badminton group, and soccer for toddlers.

There are also plans afoot for a chill-out area for teenagers to relax in, while it is also hoped a little cafe area can be established where mothers groups could meet.

Sgt Li said once everything was finished, the PCYC hoped to hire out some of its spaces more - including an upstairs area that could be used for conferences, as well as the kitchen.

"I'm excited to make the PCYC busy again and starting new activities," he said.

"We're really excited to come back in here."

Sgt Li hopes to hear from the community about the sort of activities they would like to see at the PCYC and is also on the search for for coaches and volunteers.

If you have some ideas or would like to help out, email Sgt Li at billy.li@pcyc.org.au.


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