Squirrel causes $300,000 damage to new McMillen Park

Squirrel causes $300,000 damage to new McMillen Park

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Blame it on the squirrel.

On April 1, a squirrel made its way into a freshly-installed electrical system at a newly-renovated community center. The furry rodent didn’t make it out alive. Charged with electricity, it was roasted.

But the errant animal caused a massive power surge that damaged three HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, estimated to be worth $300,000.

The place turned out to be the new McMillen Community Center which is set to open in June 7. Officials wished it was an April Fool’s Day prank, but it was no joke. The damage was real, and they soon panicked upon realizing that the grand opening is just weeks away.

Thankfully, the HVAC systems are covered by insurance. Parks Director Al Moll told the Journal Gazette that the company who built the systems is now rushing to fix and replace them.

Installing HAVC systems can be costly and tedious.

The new McMillen Community Center was previously the home to the McMillen Ice Arena which closed in 2009. A $1.9 million project replaced sheets of ice with basketball and soccer courts.

The McMillen Park Community Center also has facilities for golf, volleyball, softball, baseball, football, and track and field. The park will also host concerts, church gatherings, wedding receptions, car shows, and other recreational activities.

As for the officials, they are blaming the mishap on the squirrel. 

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