24 windows broken at old school; boys spoken to

Newly boarded-up windows and windows with brick-sized holes in them are giving one of Wanaka's prime pieces of real estate - the former Wanaka Primary School - an increas-ingly bedraggled look.

Wanaka police are speaking to three 12-year-old and 13-year-old boys about how 24 windows in several of the former buildings came to be broken by bricks and stones on Saturday afternoon.

Two buildings were also entered but nothing was taken.

The old school, in Tenby St, has been largely vacant for two years since staff and 430 pupils moved to a new site.

Neighbours spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday were not overly surprised at the vandalism, one couple saying they had called the security firm looking after the site several times over the past two years.

Wanaka Protective Services managing director Colin Armstrong said the incident was the third he had been alerted to in the past two years. On one previous occasion he had found a group had broken in through a window and were smoking cannabis in one of the rooms.

Security problems at the former school had increased since night patrols were discontinued and more reliance was placed on security alarms, he said.

A neighbour, Owen Wright, said he was looking forward to the site being redeveloped, although the price seemed too high.

The property was last month reduced in price by $35,000, to $3.55 million plus GST. The July 1 quotable value was $2.475 million including GST.

mark.price@odt.co.nz