By Kirra Grimes
A SENSELESS act of vandalism has marred the start of the school year at Korumburra Primary School, with staff returning from the summer break yesterday to discover a set of 125-year-old stained glass windows had been deliberately destroyed.
The incident is believed to have occurred some time over the Australia Day long weekend (between the afternoon of Thursday, January 24 and 8am Tuesday, January 29) with offenders climbing onto the roof of the school’s last remaining original heritage building and kicking in, from the outside, four stained glass windows on the eastern wall of the library.
The windows, an original feature of the building, believed to be between 125 and 128 years old, appear to have been the sole target of the attack, as the offenders did not enter any of the school buildings and nothing else was damaged or stolen.
Assistant principal Daniel Wells has now taken on the task of reviewing more than 100 hours of CCTV footage in a bid to help Korumburra Police identify the perpetrator/s.
Mr Wells said Korumburra Primary School staff were dismayed upon discovering the damage on Tuesday morning after a teacher found pieces of broken glass on the library floor.
“A lot of the staff were quite upset. It’s really affected them because obviously the windows have been part of the school for such a long time. It’s a real shame,” he said.
Mr Wells said staff had noticed an increase in vandalism at the school in the past couple of years, but that it had mostly involved “low level” incidents such as bins being kicked over or stolen or kids breaking windows by throwing stones.
Estimating the value of each of the library’s stained-glass windows at between $2000 and $3000, Mr Wells said this most recent incident was more concerning, and he hoped the perpetrators would get the message that “it hasn’t gone unnoticed”.
“Even if we don’t find out who did it, we hope they’ll think about what they’ve done and the impact it has,” he said.
“These windows aren’t the sort of thing that can be easily repaired or replaced, and we’ll probably need the community to rally around and help us fundraise.
“But it’s early days. We haven’t decided on the best plan of action and we’re not sure about insurance at this stage.”
Mr Wells said the school had no plans to increase security measures following the incident, as it already has high definition security cameras covering main entrances and all buildings are equipped with motion sensors and alarms.
Anyone with information in relation to the incident is urged to contact Korumburra Police on 5655 1244 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.