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Parents demand answers after club gym remains closed to members

For the past several months, children at the Boys and Girls Club in Pharr have had their playtime outside under a white tent.

For the past several months, children at the Boys and Girls Club in Pharr have had their playtime outside under a white tent.

That’s because the facility’s gym, constructed more than one year ago, is closed under city orders.

The city is requiring the club to build an additional exit door to the gym to follow city code.

However, the city has rejected the request for a permit to build said door on several occasions, according to a source close with knowledge of the club’s operations.

Concerned parents reached out to CBS 4 stating that they have yet to be told why city leaders have continuously declined the club’s request to come into compliance. They are concerned with their children being forced to play outdoors under a white tent that has been rented by the club since May.

“I don’t know what the rationale is behind having (the gym) closed and having the kids outside in hot weather all tanned and burned when there is a very nice gym we could use,” said Graciela de Hoyos, mother of two children who are club members.

Other parents share similar concerns.

Amira Reyna of Pharr says she is upset that children are being “crammed” into one room of the club during lunch hour.

CBS 4 has filed an information request with the city of Pharr to obtain records of the petitions for building permits on the property.

The Boys and Girls Club of Pharr chief executive officer, Alfredo "Freddy" Mata, Jr., declined to comment on camera on the progress of the construction of the exit door. Instead, sending CBS 4 a statement that read, “”regarding the Boys and Girls Club of Pharr, we prefer to work with the city on any positive or negative issues they may have with us.”

Parents say they are concerned that the holdup could be due to political feud between board member and the Pharr City Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez.

CBS 4 reached out to Hernandez for comment on these allegations. Hernandez agreed to an on-camera interview only if it were to be broadcast live. CBS 4 declined to honor that request out of fairness to the other parties in this story. He later declined to offer a statement of any kind.

The gym was constructed in 2015; both the gym and the club are on city property.

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