Vandals target tornado damaged middle school

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - They say it is more disrespectful than anything.

Many people in Magoffin County are still recovering from last year's tornado outbreak, and now school officials say someone is vandalizing what is left of the middle school.

On Friday Mountain News went inside the school for the first time since March 2 to take a look at what damage has been done.

Herald Whitaker Middle School sits as a haunting reminder of March 2, 2012--tornado damage as fresh as it was 11 months ago--but now school officials say someone is taking advantage of the dilapidated building.

"There was none of this. This was all nice, neat, and they've just had them a good time," said a member of the maintenance crew.

The school has not been used since that fateful day. Most of the items inside have since been put in storage, but officials say anything that was left behind has now been destroyed, beaten up, shattered, and spray painted.

"You don't want to read what's on these walls," he said, pointing to walls with derogatory drawings and words.

After boarding up the first floor so people could no longer get in, school officials believe people are now climbing up to the second level where the tornado completely ripped off the roof of the library.

"All you have to do is back your truck up to it, jump up on top of your truck and you can jump right into the second story," said Superintendent Stanley Holbrook.

They say it seems to be unstoppable.

"We've not been able to keep people out of it," said Holbrook.

They say the shock of what people are capable of never goes away, but they hope out of respect for their community and their school system that the vandalism stops.

School officials say they believe copper wiring may have also been stripped from the building.

Officers patrol near there nightly but have not caught anyone yet.


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