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Vandals target Wichita's Holy Savior Catholic Academy

Published: Jul. 26, 2016 at 7:34 PM CDT
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Several windows around Wichita's Holy Savior Catholic Academy look the same: broken and boarded up.

There's also graffiti on and around the school. The principal says the vandalism happens every year and making the needed repairs can cost thousands of dollars every year, taking money away from students' educations.

Summertime is especially challenging for the school located in the 4600 block of East 15th Street, near 15th and Oliver.

"We also have reported to the police, children actually having a clubhouse somewhere on one of our rooftops," Holy Savior Catholic Academy Principal, Dr. Delia Shropshire.

Shropshire says the vandalism is happening more often, costing the school thousands of dollars to repair.

"We do not have a lot of money to repair vandalism," she says. "We have a small maintenance staff and we have a small amount of resources to dedicate to that."

The school's mission is to provide an affordable Catholic education for students who might not have the same opportunity elsewhere.

"Most of our funding is geared toward our teachers' salaries and curriculum," Shropshire says.

Shropshire says fixing windows and painting over the graffiti takes money directly from students and teachers.

Luchaka Ross, a volunteer at the school and a parent of a student at Holy Savior, says he did not know how bad the vandalism has been.

"It's just frustrating when you come in and you do all these things and you feel like you're heading somewhere and then you come back and you're like knocked back 10 steps," he says.

Shropshire says nothing has been stolen through the broken windows and the school won't repair the windows until right before school starts because it's possible more will be broken in the coming weeks.

Holy Savior also hosts community events and has been a free lunch site for neighborhood children this summer. Shropshire says the vandalism doesn't just hurt the students and the teachers, it hurts everyone in the neighborhood.