News Leader 9 has learned that the Board of Directors for Girls, Inc. has decided to close one of their three Columbus facilities.
Facing a $350,000, plus deficit the Garrard Memorial Center on Clover Lane is scheduled to close by early August.
"We have some maintenance challenges the building is old and we just don't have the money to repair it," Executive Director Dorothy Hyatt said.
The south Columbus center was opened in 1961, according to the organizations website. It was the first center opened in Columbus.
On average upwards 100 girls attend the Garrard Center everyday, according to Hyatt.
"We try to keep the dues at a place where all girls can come, so it's real difficult to raise the kind of money we need for three centers," Hyatt explained.
Participant dues only cover about 10% of the organizations 1.7 million dollar operating cost, according to Hyatt.
Hyatt added building a third center, Baker Center, and renovating another, Cobb Center, has increased their annual costs.
"We have such a huge deficit, this is just one of many cuts," Hyatt warned.
As a means to save more money Hyatt explained they would possibly schedule less fields trips and decrease paid staff.
"We're going to keep as many as we can but certainly won't be able to keep everybody there," Hyatt said. "If this is what it takes to save Girls, incorporated then we need to do the right thing and we need to save Girl, Incorporated because we are going to be saving $125,000."
Hyatt said it's going to take help from the community to keep the popular girls program around.
"If you really want to make this service, this wonderful, valuable service to girls happen, we have to have money, it takes money," Hyatt said.
Volunteers are also needed. If you would like to volunteer or donate money to Girls, Inc. call Hyatt at (706) 683-0809.