RAND, WV (WOWK) – The air conditioning is back and running at the Rand Community Center for the first time in three years. 

The Kanawha County Commission unanimously approved to build two brand new HVAC systems in the center in their last commission meeting. One commissioner says it cost about $17,000. Contractors fully installed the systems and had the air running by 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16. 

The Rand Community Center has a cafeteria, gym, library, church room, and free clothing room. 

During the three years without air conditioning, volunteers say the summer heat kept many of the seniors away.

On a good day, volunteers say they have up to 100 seniors visit. On a hot day, they say they are lucky to see six or seven.

Ruth Short, one of the cooks at the center, says the heat was even worse in the kitchen, and that the air is back on not a moment too soon. Short added that prior to the air coming back, it could get as hot as 110 degrees inside the kitchen.

“I think it’s amazing how our community come together,” Short said.

Margaret Hays volunteers at the center and says she is excited and hopeful that the seniors will be back now that the air is back.

“They might even pick up playing bingo like they used to,” Hays said. “It’ll be really good. I’m happy for them, and I want them all to come back.”

The Kanawha County Commission also approved funding for a new walk-in freezer and roof replacement.