Frigid temperatures shutter popular, city nonprofit

Bridge Academy needs donations to fund new heating system

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

Work on an ambitious mural project at the Bridge Academy and Community Center will not continue until the facility can replace its heating system.

Work on an ambitious mural project at the Bridge Academy and Community Center cannot continue until the nonprofit can raise funds to replace its heating system.

When you operate with skeletal finances, an unexpected expense can prove devastating  – a painful lesson learned this week at the Bridge Academy and Community Center, which generally focuses on upbeat education.

The Coatesville nonprofit operates a variety of programs that weekly serve about 200 people, mainly children. It had to shut the doors at its Olive Street facility when its 75-year-old boiler went kaput and the temperature dipped to 45 degrees.

“We have patched, fixed, and mended this unit for years and are thankful to have gotten every possible ounce of energy out of it,” said Tyler Changaris, the academy’s assistant director.

Now, the academy is seeking help to raise $20,000 to buy a new heating system, a cost that has been lowered by a team of volunteers willing to do some of the manual labor themselves. Changaris said the organization hopes to purchase a natural gas heater in order to be more energy-efficient for decades to come.

Anyone interested in donating can send a check to P.O. Box 219, Downingtown, 19335 (put “heater” in the memo line) or visit!!.aspx, where contributions can be made via Paypal. Any vendor willing to discount the price of a new system would also be welcomed. All donations are tax-deductible and will be greatly appreciated by everyone who attends activities at the Bridge Academy, Changaris said.



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