Lakeview School principal Tim Nelson. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON
A Masterton primary school has been left thousands of dollars out of pocket after a block of classrooms, several windows, and the pool area were vandalised on Tuesday night.
The “mindless and pointless” act of vandalism at Lakeview School has left the school community frustrated, principal Tim Nelson said yesterday.
Two classrooms in the junior block were broken into, while up to 10 strengthened glass windows including in a block near the swimming pool, were smashed or damaged.
While nothing appeared to have been stolen, the vandalism “was pretty horrible to see”, said Mr Nelson who estimated the repairs would cost “thousands of dollars”.
The offenders had “gotten into two classrooms and the hall by the pool and just smashed the windows – it looks like there was no desire to steal things — it’s just vandalism”.
A television was pulled off a classroom wall, the screen smashed, and items were pulled off some classroom shelves too.
“The main thing is the windows, lots and lots of windows, it’s obviously covered by insurance, but it’s pretty horrible to see.
“It’s just a really horrible situation… and mindless, pointless vandalism, and heaps of people impacted — it’s upsetting for the teachers as well . . . it’s the sense of having the space violated.”
The damage was found by a security guard doing his rounds on Tuesday night.
The community support that has been extended was the silver lining to the situation, Mr Nelson said.
After he posted photos of the damage to the school’s Facebook page, support flooded in with several parents and others offering to help clean up.
Ewen Glass glaziers went in on Tuesday and secured the windows overnight, and then replaced the broken windows yesterday.
Mr Nelson, who has been the school’s principal for only two terms, said he had no clue why vandals had targeted the school. He said he hoped they were not pupils from the school.
Schools could be considered as an “easy target” during school holidays, he said.
The targeted block was not clearly seen from Te Ore Ore road, nor by residential homes nearby, he said.
Mr Nelson said he enjoyed the idea that the school was open to the community to use the playgrounds, courts and fields.
“[But] it sucks when you think people are coming into the school and then doing damage to the buildings.”
Vandals had smashed windows in term four last year, he said.
The security presence in the school after hours would now be increased, he said.
Police were called to the school at around 8.40pm after a call from the security guard who found the damage, a police spokesperson said.
Other Masterton schools and complexes were subject to vandalism last year.
Wairarapa College had more than 20 windows broken over Waitangi Weekend and its new cricket nets ruined.
The new netball centre on Colombo Rd, Bring it to Colombo, was targeted several times after construction began in July.
Windows at Masterton Intermediate School and Douglas Park School were also broken last year.