LEWISTON, Maine — People are allowed back inside the Longley School in Lewiston Tuesday, one week after vandals trashed the place.
Lewiston police said they broke into the school last Tuesday and caused serious damage to equipment, classrooms, and hallways. They used surveillance video to identify the students responsible.
Four kids, ranging from 10 to 14 years old, were all charged with burglary and aggravated criminal mischief after allegedly causing more than $100,000 in damage.
School leaders met Monday night to discuss the situation, including potential changes to ensure security in the future. One school committee member voiced concern that the school does not have a security system to notify police of a break-in.
Superintendent Jake Langlais said school staff and custodians worked extra hours over the last week to clean up the mess and document the damage for insurance purposes.
Even though the school year is over, the building was supposed to be used for adult education and summer programs. Adult education classes will be able to start back up again this week, Langlais said.
But there are still remnants of the damage, including spray paint on walls that has to be cleaned or painted over.
Langlais told school committee members Monday that while the incident has been devastating for the community, a lot of people have stepped up and offered to help.
"The support has been amazing. We're going to continue to work forward and make sure things are ready, not just for school in the fall but for programming that's coming right up, for community use in some of those spaces, and executing the insurance components and see how we can better the space," Langlais said.
Langlais and other school leaders said they hope to find an opportunity for the kids involved to give back to the community.