Twizel Area School’s community is angry and shocked after the school was vandalised on Wednesday night, principal Bill Feasy says.
The heating system bore the brunt of the vandalism, which Twizel police have estimated could cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Six heat pumps were damaged, with one pushed off the roof onto the ground, and five windows were also broken.
Feasy said the “mindless acts of damage” had left the school community angry and shocked.
“This is a school for goodness sakes, schools ought to be a main source of stability and pride for whole, healthy communities.
“We help young people realise their potential – why would anyone have a grudge against that?”
All of the damage was insured and insurance had been notified with a case started, he said.
“But there is usually excess to pay.”
The damage could force the school to reorganise classes into different rooms so there could be enough heating for staff and students in the lead up to winter, he said.
“We may have to allow some extra clothing. Most rooms still have a night store in so we hope that the impact of cold will be minimised.”
While the heating would be a source of frustrating, the bigger impact was likely to be anger at the people who damaged the school, he said.
Repair people were on the roof assessing the damage and working out repair or replace contingency plans, Feasy said.
Police were also involved and making inquiries, Feasy said.
Senior Constable Les Andrew, of Twizel, said the pumps on the flat-top roof were moved from their row, with some kicked and smashed between 5pm and 10pm.
It would cost “thousands of dollars” to repair the damage, Andrew said.
He hoped the costs for repairing or replacing the damaged items would be known within the next couple of days.
Police found footprints, which appeared to belong to younger teenagers as they were size eight or nine, Andrew said.
“Some kids were seen on the roof over the last couple of nights.”
Andrew urged anyone with information about the vandalism to contact Crimestoppers New Zealand on 0800 555 111.