In late July, the building housing the Jubilee Performance Arts Center in downtown McComb experienced a roof collapse, rendering the 100-year-old building useless. The collapse also prompted a review of surrounding buildings.
Now, the city board is filing a lawsuit against building owner Talex LLC and the company’s insurance. The claim suggests the owners knew -yet did nothing about- a dangerous amount of rain water ponding on the roof, leading to the collapse.
Dr. Terrence Alexander is the executive director of JPAC and says that is simply not true, and the suit comes as a surprise to him and his staff.
“We had a roofing contractor come out and look at the roof after the January ice storm,” Alexander said. “They cleared some debris, did some repairs, and told us the roof was in good shape. We even have letters saying that.”
The suit seeks damages for cleanup after the collapse that blocked city streets for days and shut of power to several nearby buildings.
“We’re not fighting the city,” said Alexander, who has been forthcoming in working with the city as this case moves forward. “It does kind of feel like they’re fighting education, but then I realize maybe they’re just putting everything in place so they can recoup some of the money they lost.”
JPAC has since relocated to a new building, and continues to provide an environment of faith, learning and encouragement for aspiring young people.