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Vandals damage two buildings at Jefferson High

August 19, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.VA.

charlestown@herald-mail.com

Vandals broke into a press box and a concession stand at Jefferson High School's football field Wednesday night, tearing up scoreboard and public address systems and smashing vending machines and food coolers, police said.

In the concession stand, melted butter and nacho cheese was "poured everywhere" and all but one window was smashed in the press box, said Detective Victor Lupis of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

"Most of that press box is windows," Lupis said.

A $15.3 million renovation of Jefferson High School is under way and some of the equipment in the press box that was vandalized was new, Lupis said.

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"They just destroyed the place," Lupis said. "You name it, it was smashed up."

Lupis said he is not sure when the two buildings were entered, but he assumed it was sometime Wednesday night.

It does not appear that the main school building was touched, Lupis said.

Lupis said there is nothing to indicate that the vandalism was the result of any ongoing problem at the school.

Lupis said he has significant physical evidence from the scene, although he declined to go into detail.

Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols also was at a loss to explain why someone would damage the buildings.

"To have this happen, I find, is an affront to every taxpayer in the county. This has taken from each one of us in the county," said Nichols, who added that the damage estimate is in excess of $50,000.

The football field is behind the high school along Flowing Springs Road north of Charles Town. New lights have been installed on the field and are to be unveiled during a ceremony on Aug. 26, Nichols said.

The renovation of Jefferson High School was a culmination of years of study and debate on how to best renovate the school.

The final plan that was adopted calls for a new gymnasium, media center and band room, a new exterior design, four science classrooms, a covering for outside walkways, new parking designs and other improvements.

Heavy construction is under way in front of the school as the work continues.

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