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Thieves strip vacant school of copper

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By Jennifer Caldwell

The Campbell County Board of Education took a major hit last week.  Because the former East LaFollette Elementary School was deemed uninhabitable by the fire marshal it has sat virtually unused for more than a year.

On June 9 LaFollette Police Det. Lt. Monty Miller was notified that the building had been burglarized, according to a report.

During the investigation of the former school building BOE maintenance employees reported that several windows and doors in the structure had been broken. Further exploration of the building revealed that some of the ceiling tiles had been torn down and all of the copper wiring had been removed, according to LPD records.

In addition, electronics that were left in several of the classrooms were broken.

The estimate for the damages done by vandalism and theft is between $250,000 and $300,000.

Dr. Michael Martin, director of schools, said he was saddened by the theft.

“I’m disappointed with the loss and damage to the building. This was a crime that resulted in extensive damage,” Martin said.

Persons with information regarding this case are encouraged to contact LPD at 562-8331.