School administrators are appealing to the public for information after damage was done to the playing fields at LÁU,WEL,NEW School over the Easter long weekend.
Over the last few years, the field at the back of the school off West Saanich Road has been the target of vandalism.
“People have come in and driven around on the playing field once a year or so for the past three years,” explained LÁU,WEL,NEW School Board Administrator Curtis Olsen.
“We’ve made reports to the police but since it’s such a secluded area back there we rarely get any information or leads on who does this. It’s really unfortunate.”
The most recent damage was done over the Easter long weekend on either the Friday or Saturday night. Olsen said he suspects someone driving a lifted 4×4 vehicle drove up a steep embankment in order to gain access to the field which has only one vehicle access point that is kept closed with chain link fencing.
“It’s troubling to us because the person who did it likely doesn’t understand the impact it has on us,” said Gordie Elliott Sr., the operations and maintenance supervisor at LÁU,WEL,NEW School.
“Soccer is very important to our people and we host tournaments here all the time. It’s important to us the field is kept in good condition.”
Elliott estimates the repair costs of the latest incident at close to $1,000.
“That’s money out the budget that could have been used somewhere else but instead we’re using it to fill in the ruts, roll the soil and then re-seed the damaged areas. The last time this happened it a long time for the field to back in perfect playing condition.”
As an incentive for information on the vandalism over the Easter long weekend, Olsen and Elliott have decided to offer a $250 reward.
“We have an open file with the Sidney North Saanich RCMP on this so if anyone has information they can contact them at 250-656-3931,” said Elliott.
A senior mens and women’s soccer tournament takes place this weekend at the school, which Elliott said the field will be ready for.