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Information sought regarding Woodbury vandalism

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO A planter and bench hybrid at Woodbury Elementary playground was completely damaged on Monday evening after it had just been damaged on Sunday.

Information regarding vandalism at a Marshalltown playground recently rebuilt following the tornado is being sought by the Marshalltown Police Department.

Woodbury Elementary, 8 N. Seventh Ave., has been vandalized multiple times, according to Police Chief Mike Tupper.

The MPD made a Facebook post on Monday about that vandalism. Marshalltown School District director of buildings and grounds Chuck Springer said by Monday evening, that same bench and planter were destroyed even further.

“As a result, we had to dispose of it,” Springer said. “This was done after the police department posted the initial vandalism on Facebook.”

The cost of the damage is not known and Springer said he would hate to put a price on it as the equipment and the work was part of the $50,000 KABOOM! grant for a new playground area following the July 2018 tornado.

“Three hundred eighteen volunteers showed up on the hottest day of the summer this year and put in a lot of work to install the playground,” he said.

The planter and bench hybrid was not the only casualty. Springer said there was an Americans with Disabilities-approved picnic table at the Woodbury Elementary playground which received significant damage a couple weeks ago.

“Vandals jumped on it and broke the boards on top of the picnic table,” he said.

Graffiti was also spray painted on equipment and stepping stones broken.

Marshalltown School District Superintendent Theron Schutte said he is disappointed someone would vandalize the Woodbury playground after the outpouring of support received during the summer.

“We’re hopeful that someone will come forward to district officials or the Marshalltown Police department with information that can lead to putting a stop to this senseless behavior,” Schutte said.

Vandalism and damage is something Springer has dealt with in his 2.5 years as director of buildings and grounds for the Marshalltown School District. However, the extent and frequency seen at Woodbury Elementary has been heightened.

“It is just a lot of needless and heartless vandalism,” he said. “I think we need to have some conversations with students about being responsible with our resources. So much work and time was put into an area that was hit hard by the tornado last year. It was a source of community pride and a few individuals have taken it upon themselves to put a damper on that pride. We can’t put a price on that planter as so much was invested in it.”

If anyone has information regarding the vandalism, please contact the Marshalltown Police Department at 641-754-5725 or submit a tip to the Marshall County Crime Stoppers by calling 641-753-1234 or visit the website at www.marshallcountycs.com. Any tips that lead to an arrest may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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Contact Lana Bradstream

at 641-753-6611 or

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com