KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A nonprofit community center and bookstore in Knoxville has been forced to shut its doors and move operations after an emergency closure caused by plumbing issues.
Recent plumbing issues at The Bottom on Magnolia Avenue forced their water to be shut off and organizers to seek temporary spaces for their community programs while they deal with a pricey fix.
This has already impacted the organization’s summer camps for kids.
“The Bottom is a community space in East Knoxville,” said Ty Murray, Director Of Art And Communications for The Bottom. “We are a justice and equity project. Our main mission is rooted in community, culture, and creativity for Black Knoxville.”
The Bottom has its doors open on most weekdays. Inside is a book store and they regularly host community events.
Last week, they were hosting several youth summer programs when they noticed one of the toilets wouldn’t flush.
“We called a plumber and the original estimate was $500 to get the drain unclogged and to get the plumbing back up and running,” Murray explained. “They came back and let us know that there was a very serious issue going on that there was an issue with our whole infrastructure and it wasn’t just as simple as unclogging the drain, they would actually have to go in and reroute and repipe a lot of our plumbing.”
Repairs costs jumped from $500 dollars to $15,000. They reached out for community help and the community showed up.
“We’re so happy with our community for helping us reach that initial goal of $15,000. However, that number is still rising,” Murray said. “Right now we’re looking at $19,000, but we’re still in limbo. We are still waiting to hear back on what that total will be and when the work will be done.”
They want to get back into their building as soon as possible, but they need more money to do so.
“This is not something that we anticipated, so this is not something that we have lying around,” she said. “So we’re really asking the community for their support and help.”
You can donate to The Bottom here.
The Bottom is currently using The Change Center building for its upcoming event, Sew It Sell It Pitch Day which is happening on Friday, July 21 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.