Buchanan Middle School broken into, severe damage reported

Buchanan Middle School might not open on time after a break-in on Saturday August 15th. Thousands of dollars worth of copper was stolen. 

The Deputy Police Chief in Buchanan believes the suspects may have chemical burns on their hands because there is evidence that a high pressure pipe burst. 

Tim Ganus said, “We want to put people behind bars who did this.”  

According to superintendent Dr. Andrea van der Laan, it appears the criminals entered through the construction entrance. 

Van der Laan, said, “I’m sure it’s more than 10's of thousands, it was huge.”

Van der Laan, said, “I’m angry, and I know the community is angry they knew how hard we were working.”

The school was in the process of being renovated from top to bottom, and now the school is without air conditioning, heat and running water.

Van der Laan, said, “So basically they’ve taken two main systems off line which means we can’t open school.”

People who live in Buchanan are upset because this is affecting 360 middle school students.

A woman who did not want to be identified by her last name said her children graduated from the middle school. 

Shirley said, “If that’s all peoples got to do is tear up and vandalize shame on them! It’s putting them behind in their education, they can’t walk into a mess like this!”

Shirley said she’s recently seen some suspicious cars lingering around the school.

Shirley said, “There was an incident about a month and a half ago I reported a suspicious actions over there at night, police do patrol it.”  

Police are searching for leads and school officials are wondering when the building will be safe enough for kids to come back to class.

Van der Laan, said,  “And to come so close and get to the end and have somebody come in and destroy that and keep us from finishing is so disheartening.” 

Construction workers are working overtime to get the school back on track with construction, which will move the middle school orientation to the high school auxiliary gym on September 1.

Seventh grade orientation will be held at 5:30 p.m., sixth grade at 6:30 p.m., and fifth grade at 7:30 p.m.

The school corporation is currently unaware if they will be able to open Buchanan Middle School when all other buildings open on September 8th.

to read the full release, click here.  

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