BELDING — Authorities are currently searching for whoever is responsible for vandalizing several of the large, custom-fit windows at the new Redskins Arena gymnasium at Belding High School.
Several of the large dual-pane windows, which face north on the second story of the gymnasium and are one of the highlights of the state-of-the art facility that features an indoor track, were vandalized in August and the damage is still visible as the replacement windows are months away from arrival.
“We are aware that some windows have been broken at the high school,” Interim Superintendent Sara Shriver said. “One was accidental due to construction located on an entrance door and has been replaced. As far as the other windows, we’re not sure how that happened. It has been reported to the police and there was an investigation. We don’t have any leads as to this time and it is an ongoing investigation.”
Shriver said because the windows are custom-fit and large in size, it will be months before they can be replaced.
“In talking with the construction workers, the replacement windows are four months out from being able to be installed from the time of the accident,” she said.
School Board President Tom Humphreys said the exact cost to replace the windows is not known, but he did say that they will be “expensive.”
“I know that these are custom-made windows and they are going to be expensive, that’s why it’s going to take a while to get replacement (windows) in,” he said. “I don’t have any idea on cost at this time, but the issue has been turned in to the police and we have contacted our insurance company.”
Belding High School Principal Brett Zuver said despite the large cracks in the windows, students celebrated the opening of the gymnasium on the first day of school in grand fashion and he has been pleased with the student reaction to the vandalism.
“We’ve had a lot of students express frustration, just about how it’s such a cool thing to have such a great facility in Belding and then have somebody, intentionally, do something like this before it was even open,” Zuver said. “But if it’s one or two angry people that did it, we’ve got a full community that’s behind us 100 percent.”