Vandal golfer hits Minnekhada hard

The windows have been replaced and the graffiti cleaned up but Minnekhada middle school staff and students remain disappointed at a recent spate of vandalism after several relatively peaceful months.

On Jan. 11, someone with a golf club hit balls through 11 windows in the  school’s courtyard — then threw the club through a window.

The breakage was repaired immediately, said principal Darren Macmillan, but the damage was disappointing because of the work and effort that has gone in to making the school more secure.

“It was a shame,” said Macmillan, who said the recent act of vandalism was the worst in months since the school district put screens on 85% of the school’s windows, cleaned up the courtyard and improved sight lines.

Improvements inside the school have also been made, he said, and the district brought together the school community, including parents, to talk about building issues.

“A lot of those promises have been carried through,” said Macmillan, noting that the school recently got a heating upgrade, made some classroom improvements and dealt with an ant infestation.

He doesn’t think anyone at the school is responsible for the damage, the worst at Minnekhada since dozens of windows were broken last winter.

Macmillan said he has worked with Coquitlam RCMP, staff at the nearby Hyde Creek community centre and with some older youth and has had some success.

A few local taggers are being monitored with the goal of catching them in the act. The neighbourhood has also been asked to call Vandal Watch if they see trouble brewing, Macmillan said.

“I think over the last 12 months, we’ve really tried hard to make sure this is a building we take pride in,” he said.



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