By BRENT STUBBS
Senior sports journalist
AFTER operating his Southwestern screen printing shop, supplying uniforms to a number of sports organizations and schools over the past 30 years, owner Leslie Williams is now asking the public for help in the wake of the hurricane Matthew.
Thursday’s Category 4 storm left Williams’ printing plant on Key West Street and Cordeaux Avenue partly demolished with the bottom structure collapsed and part upstairs still standing.
“As you can see, I still have some gear in there that looks to be good,” said Williams, assessing the damage left behind. “I’ll need a crane just to lift the structure, which has been in place since I started in the business.
“I have all my graphic designs on the screens and the equipment to print the t-shirts. So I have to get them out because I have a number of jobs that I have to do for people.
With the equipment in the building, Williams said he was in limbo. But he intends to eventually rebuild the printing house, which is estimated to cost around $ 35,000. When he adds the equipment and screens that are under the rubble, Williams said he still needs to replace $ 30,000 to $ 40,000.
“Besides getting the equipment and screens out of there, it’s going to put me back at least six months,” Williams said. “Just to rebuild the store, it will take about six months.
“This is a good time for people who would have frequented the company for the last 30 years to come and help me with the restoration because the building was old and it was made of wood, so I really couldn’t assure it. “
Those interested in helping Williams can contact him at 456-4560 or email [email protected]
“I will be receiving any assistance at this time,” said Williams. “I count on my brothers and sisters to give me generous support in building materials or monetary donations. This building needs to be destroyed so that I can rebuild it again.
“There is a lot of damage in this building. But I hope I can get the equipment out there. The screens are always replaceable, but that’s a waste. We will have to rebuild at all costs.
Williams still operates out of his Washington Street and Cordeaux Avenue sewing workshop. He still owns some of the printing equipment that he managed to secure before the storm hit.
But Williams said, looking back, that he wished he had removed all the other equipment from the building, but just couldn’t because he had no other place to store it properly.