Nearly all of the Bethlehem Central School District's maintenance vehicle fleet was vandalized over the weekend.
A district representative said the damage to Operations and Maintenance Department vehicles includes slashed tires, broken windows, mud and grass put into fuel tanks and swastikas etched into glass and paint. 15 vehicles and seven tractors and grass mowers were damaged or defaced. There are 22 vehicles and 11 tractors in the fleet.
School buses are kept at another facility. Though there is a gate at the Operations and Maintenance building, it is otherwise surrounded by woods.
The equipment was parked outside at the district's Operations and Maintenance building on Elm Avenue, not far from the High School. The damage was discovered on the morning of Monday, May 9, according to the district.
...this is a deeply troubling incident, both in terms of the specific nature of some of the vandalism, as well as what it means to our operations and the community's investment in maintaining the school district, Superintendent Michael Tebbano said in a letter to the community.
In addition to swastikas, several vehicles were otherwise scratched or marred. At least one had an obscenity etched into its door.
Contractors were on site Monday replacing the roughly 40 tires damaged. The transportation department lent a hand and some staff were able to use their personal vehicles for the day.
"This really hampered operations," said Director of Facilities and Operations Gregg Nolte. "A lot of people were just stuck here."
The district did not immediately have a figure on what repairing the vandalism will cost.
The Bethlehem Police Department is conducting an investigation and anyone with information is asked to call police at 439-9973.
Director of Facilities and Operations Gregg Nolte with some of the tires that were damaged.