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Paint causes more than $300K in damage

Posted: July 27, 2012 7:30 p.m.
Updated: July 27, 2012 7:30 p.m.

The paint used by vandals to cause $300,000 in damage to a Valencia HOA pool may have been stolen from a nearby elementary school, a Saugus Union school district official said.

“We assume that it was the paint used to vandalize the pool but we don’t know for sure,” said Keith Karzin, director of safety and risk management with the Saugus Union School District, referring to four gallons of blue, red, green and yellow house paint used to vandalize the Northbridge Homeowners Association pool.

Paint being used to repaint the handball courts at Charles Helmers elementary school was stolen earlier this week, Karzin said. He said he didn’t know the exact time the paint was stolen.

The pool vandalism occurred between Wednesday night and 6 a.m. Thursday. The vandals poured the paint into the pool and hot tub and threw lounge chairs into the pool.

Workers will have to replace two recently-purchased $25,000 boilers and all the pipes from the pool system. They will also need to reline the pool and rip up concrete 4 feet deep leading from the pumps to the pool and hot tub.

Vandalism has been an issue at the pool, said Dave Edmiston, president of the Northbridge Homeowners Association Bluefin swim team.

“Vandalism is always a problem,” Edmiston said. “Kids will throw stuff into the pool.”

Edmiston said he and his swim team were at the pool for the team’s end-of-the year banquet three weeks ago when local kids threw eggs at them from a nearby hill. He didn’t call the police but notified the private security company that monitors the homeowners association.

“We’ve had problems historically with the private security,” Edmiston said, adding that a new company hired by the homeowners association last year has been an improvement from the last company.

Edmiston said he expects the pool to be fixed in time for the Bluefins next season that starts in May. In the meantime, Edmiston’s daughter, who was a lifeguard at the pool, is out of a job.

“Everybody is up in arms about this,” Edmiston said. “Everybody is trying to band together to figure out how this happened.”


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