Local News

Vandals Damage New Cumberland County School

Posted December 27, 2002 9:12 a.m. EST

— A new school in Cumberland County still plans to open on schedule after vandals caused more than $500,000 worth of damage inside the building Thursday night.

Authorities say the vandals broke into Grays Creek High School and smashed windows, splattered paint on furniture and drove a forklift through a door.

Crime technicians are hoping fingerprints will lead them to who is responsible. They are looking closely for evidence where the vandals wrote profanities.

All the damage is upsetting to Job Superintendent Casey Barnes, who has been in the business 40 years. He said the school was going to be ready four months ahead of schedule. Thursday's damage reportedly will set construction back three months, which still leaves the school a month to open ahead of schedule.

"[It's] heartbreaking and disappointing. [I'm] mad, irritated," he said.

Authorities said the vandals also broke into 13 construction trailers.

"It's more a personal attack than a professional one," Barnes said.

Officials say the school would have been finished ahead of schedule in about two weeks.

The vice-president of the construction company said no one from the company has been fired recently, and they do not believe it was an inside job. Authorities also said vandalism was done by teenagers at a nearby school, so they are looking to see if the same people were involved in this incident.

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered by the Fayetteville/Cumberland Crimestoppers.