Mishawaka community pool vandalized, thousands to repair
The Mishawaka Parks Department is left paying thousands of dollars in repair expenses and extra hours of cleanup after Merifield Pool on Mishawaka Avenue was vandalized and ripped apart.
“We noticed the hole on Wednesday morning. It had to of happened either Monday night or Tuesday,” said Phil Blasko, Parks Superintendent for City of Mishawaka.
Police say unknown suspects entered the unfilled pool area, cut 2 long strips into the liner and then threw two metal poles into it causing more damage.
Blasko called contractors right away to patch it, but that may just be a temporary fix.
“A few thousand dollars to patch the pool where it's at but if the patch doesn't work… to replace a liner this size would be over $300,000,” said Blasko.
“The pool is supposed to open June 5 we intended to start filling the pool this coming up Monday,” said Blasko.
All of those plans are now on hold until further notice.
“We have many numerous swim teams that utilize the pool, we have learn-to-swim programs that individuals have already signed up for, season passes that have already been sold,” said Blasko.
The park saw more than 19,000 people last year.
“My children have gone there and used the pool and, you know, my nieces my nephews. A very important part of our community is in jeopardy right now possibly being opened for the summertime,”said Lieutenant Tim Williams with Mishawaka Police Department.
Police are now asking for your help.
“Help us solve this crime this is something that's going to affect our entire community and we would like to find who did this,” said Williams.
Police ask that if you have seen anyone suspicious in the pool area between May 1st and May 3rd that you call them so they can hold those vandals responsible.