Broken windows cost $16,000

Michael Holahan/Staff
Vandals smashed 158 windows at Copeland Elementary on Jackson Road. Officials said the repairs would not be completed by the time pupils return to school Monday.

The 158 windows smashed at Copeland Elementary School will cost about $16,000 to repair and won't be completely replaced when classes resume after the holidays, officials said Monday.

Sgt. Paul Evans, of the Richmond County sheriff's property crimes division, said no one has been arrested and officials are trying to determine whether any surveillance video shows the incident.

Two juveniles, ages 9 and 13, seen walking through the parking lot carrying metal poles were questioned by police, but denied any involvement, saying they had seen two people with baseball bats smashing the windows earlier.

Richmond County schools spokesman Louis Svehla said the first orders for new windows were likely being placed Monday.

"We had to order some glass," he said. "Just like everything with the holidays, it's going to take a little longer (than normal)."

He said school system workers initially used some glass they already had to seal some of the broken windows. Other windows, he said, had to be boarded up. He said all windows are now sealed, preventing easy access into the school, located on Jackson Road.

To keep costs down, the school system will wait until the full work force returns Monday to begin replacing all of the windows, Mr. Svehla said

He said the $16,000 cost estimate includes the new windows and some overtime. He said the school system has a budget for repairs but was looking to keep costs down by limiting additional overtime.

A school in Columbia County was also targeted over the holiday break. Someone broke into Augusta Christian Schools on Sunday and stole from two vending machines inside the gym.

A maintenance employee at the school at 313 Baston Road, Martinez, said that at about 3:45 p.m. he discovered that someone had entered the locked gymnasium and broken into a snack vending machine inside and a Gatorade vending machine outside the gym. Cash was also stolen from the machines, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report.

Staff Writers Adam Folk and Donnie Fetter contributed to this article.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3851 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com

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