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Maryland Theatre roof damaged again

October 22, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Whoever ruined a newly refinished section of The Maryland Theatre's roof might be walking around purple-handed.

Ken Saur of Eco Construction, which installed the roof, said vandals emptied a bucket of glue over the roof membrane, which needs to removed and replaced. The membrane is attached to a layer of insulation, which will have to be replaced, too.

Vandals also spread PVC primer, which stains skin purple and can't be washed off, Saur said.

"Whoever did this is going to be walking around with purple hands for quite some time," he said.

Jay C. Constantz, the theater's executive director, estimated the damage at around $25,000.

This is the latest round of vandalism at the theater in the last 18 months.

The Herald-Mail reported in the spring that theater officials found graffiti on the roof in April 2008.

Then, in May 2008, a video surveillance system captured images of people on the roof.

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When heavy rain later seeped in and soaked the ceiling inside, it appeared to be the result of earlier roof damage, Ron Bowers, a member of the theater's board of directors, has said.

As of April 2009, when The Herald-Mail reported on those episodes of damage and the roof being replaced, it didn't appear that anyone had been prosecuted.

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. donated the work of his construction company to build a wall, seemingly blocking the path previous vandals might have taken.

The new damage was done Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Constantz said someone apparently broke in through a side door and climbed steps and a ladder to get to the roof.

Glue and PVC primer were spread on the roof. The word "peace" and a peace symbol were traced in the glue. Oil also was dumped on the roof.

Saur said his company had just finished that section of the roof, which is white and designed to reflect sun rays.

On Saturday, comedian Ron White is scheduled to perform two sold-out shows. Constantz said the shows will continue as planned.

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