Vandals wreak havoc at Mohawk Avenue School during Ski Swap

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:32

    Sparta — An event sponsored by the Sparta High School Ski Team Booster Club at Mohawk Avenue School last Saturday resulted in costly damage to district property when juveniles sprayed the lower level classrooms, hallways, and gymnasium with fire extinguishers. According to schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Morton, while the Ski Booster Club’s annual Ski Swap was being held in the auditorium on the main level of the school, an undisclosed number of juveniles entered the lower level and released several fire extinguishers, spraying the contents on walls, ceilings, windows, desks and furniture, and water fountains. The spray caused fire alarms to be triggered and police and fire personnel arrived at the scene and evacuated the building. Juveniles were seen running away and Morton said police know their identities. The hard costs of damaged property will be unknown until further investigation of all the damage is completed. The released fire extinguishers must be refilled and remounted and at least one was thrown into the woods behind the building and has yet to be located. In addition, two smoke alarm heads were damaged by the spray and must be replaced. Morton said the worst damage is the mess caused by the fine dust of the fire extinguisher spray. “It’s on absolutely everything,” Morton said. The cost involved in man-hours to do all the clean-up is not known at this time. The classrooms in Mohawk Avenue School have not been in use since the fifth grade classes were moved to Alpine School in 2010. Morton said the damage is so extensive that if the classroom were still in use this year, the rooms could not be used for classes for several days. Sparta Police are conducting an ongoing investigation into the incident.