REYNOLDS, Ind. (WLFI) - A historic school in White County is back open after being vandalized by juveniles over the summer. As we previously reported, four juveniles caused thousands of dollars worth of damage at the old Reynolds Elementary School, which is now used as an event space and community center. It closed as a school in 2010.
"They had taken fire extinguishers and gone down the hall and the kitchen," said Sharon Brooks, Honey Creek Township Trustee. "They broke out glass in the trophy case. $40,000 worth of damage from four juveniles."
The original price tag was only $36,000. But aside from a door handle that still needs fixed, you would never guess the state that the building was in just four months ago. And the kids responsible were part of the clean up.
"They had to pay $250 a piece to cover the cost of the deductible for the insurance, and then they have done community service which they have come to the building and done some community service," she said.
Brooks said this obstacle was a blessing in disguise. They were able to use the insurance money to replace the stage curtain, along with some added security measures. They were able to buy eight security cameras that are located both inside and outside the building.
"The community support has been amazing," said Brooks. "Until the first of the year we've got bookings almost every week, whether it's a wedding reception, family reunion, Christmas party."
They had a tight deadline for September to get things mostly cleaned. A wedding reception was already in the books when the vandalism happened. Brooks said they weren't 100% cleaned up, but the reception went off without a hitch. Since July, a church has moved into one end of the building and Brooks said they often times let community members use the kitchen if they need to bake or cook in large quantities.
Reynolds class reunions and community bingo nights are things Brooks hopes will happen in the future. Stay tuned to the Historic Reynolds School Facebook page for updates.
Pictured right: The Reynolds Elementary School gym all decorated for a wedding reception held after the vandalism. Photo provided by Sharon Brooks.