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Vandals strike netball centre

Just one of the windows that was smashed by vandals at the Colombo Rd netball facility. PHOTO/JAKE BELESKI


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Continued vandalism of the $2.2m netball centre being built on Colombo Rd has forced Bring it to Colombo Trust chairman Luther Toloa to think outside the box.

Vandalism has been a major issue for the workers building the new clubrooms, who find minor damage to the facility almost every day when they arrive.

Yesterday morning they found 10 broken windows, and the frames around them severely damaged.

Mr Toloa said the continued targeting of what will be a magnificent community facility was frustrating for everyone.

“It’s frustrating for the people driving the project, the netball community, and the parents of the people who are doing this.

“It’s just mindless and senseless vandalism.”

Building began on the site in July, and workers had kept the vandalism quiet because it hadn’t caused major disruptions.

But the latest effort was too big to ignore.

“Smashed windows are very expensive,” Mr Toloa said.

“They’re double glazed windows and the aluminium frames are also damaged, and will need to be replaced at considerable cost . . . it’s a big hiccup on our part.”

Mr Toloa said “a couple of kids” thought to be involved in the vandalism had been found, and he was going to take a different approach to try and remedy the situation.

“The trust is looking at practical means to stop this from happening.

“I’ll be meeting with some of the kids and their parents to try and help them understand the facility is for their benefit.”

He said it was a different approach with a different point of view, and as frustrated as they are, he believes it is worth persevering with.

“We’re willing to sit down and talk it through with the kids and their parents.

“I’ll also be bringing the site manager and a couple of others along — these kids need to see the faces of the people behind the work.”

He was hopeful of changing the culprits’ views of the community facility, and said with the right approach anybody could change their ways.

Despite suffering setbacks nearly every day, Mr Toloa said they were still tracking ahead of schedule, and was optimistic of having the project completed in time for the 2018 season as planned.

“We’ve sold the top half of the old building and that will move in the next couple of weeks.

“We’ve had hiccups and setbacks but we’re determined it won’t move us from our completion date.”

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