Stall doors in the bathrooms were kicked by ice-skate clad vandals at the Peter W. Foote Memorial Skating Rink.
Mayor Richard Alcombright points to urinal dividers that were destroyed. The dividers will need new brackets and anchoring system.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Vandals caused thousands of dollars of damage Friday at the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink.
Both the men's and the women's restrooms were damaged during Friday night's community skating time. In the recently renovated restrooms, urinal dividers were torn down, the doors were kicked with skates leaving dents, some of the concrete was chipped and one of the sinks was chipped. A full footprint was found near the ceiling where a skater had climbed onto the sinks.
The city will have to spend thousands of dollars to replace all of the damaged items.
"It's on the city's dime to keep this maintained. Somebody has to pay for this," Mayor Richard Alcombright said Monday. "We're not going to tolerate vandalism in this building."
Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morrocco said police are accepting anonymous tips and if the perpetrators are found they will be prosecuted "to the full extent of the law" and have to pay for the damages. Additionally, a police officer will be patrolling the rink during the final two nights of community skate time.
"You can have a successful prosecution without an eyewitness," Morrocco said. "With the city having limited resources, this is crazy."
Anywhere from 250 to 300 children were at the rink Friday night and the rink's small staff was unable to finger the culprits. Placing an officer there will help deter vandalism but comes as an additional cost to the city, Alcombright said.
"It's unfortunate that we have to put an officer here," Alcombright said. "We just want to have a nice facility. This is a place for families."
Alcombright was informed of the damage Monday morning via e-mail and went to inspect the damage later.
The bathrooms at the skating rink were newly refurbished in April through grant funding of $160,000. According to Michael Nuvallie, of the city's office of community development, the bathrooms were one of several phases of renovations. Close to $2 million has been invested in the rink, he said.
Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morrocco vowed to prosecute the culprits to the full extent of the law.
"We've been chipping away at this for years," Nuvallie said. "We're up near the $2 million mark and we're not done."
Renovations began in 2007 when they city took over the rink's operations with a new roof and each year the city applies for grants to continue fixing the place up.
A new floor, mechanical room, boards and glass and doors have also been renovated, Nuvallie said. The next step is infrared heaters for the benches and renovating the parking lot will follow, he said.
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I am a teacher for the North Adams Public Schools and I am ashamed to think that this vandalism may have been done by the fine students of our city. This saddens me greatly. I had a wonderful time with my own children at Winterfest and would hate to see it disappear due to some unsupervised children. Shame on the parents!!!
Good job, iberkshires, for being out in front on this story, the collapsing Windsor Mill story (which will be a much bigger issue than most realize right now - the mill is collapsing in on itself), plus the Melville selectwoman fiasco in Adams. As a frequent iberkshires reader, I often use these comment boards, and I admit I can be quick to criticize. But what are comment boards for, if not that? At any rate, with all three of these three important local stories, iberkshires was first on the scene. Good job!
Whoever did the damage should have to not only have to do all the repairs, but should have to do at least 500 hours of mandatory community service. All repair funds should also come out of the vandal/s pocket, or if he/she/they don't have the money, the parents should have to pay for it.
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