GOSHEN — A senseless act.
That is how Sheri Howland, superintendent of Goshen Park and Recreation Department, described the $5,000 damage done to the Rogers Park pavilion and other facilities within the park that occurred Sunday afternoon.
“It’s so unnecessary. It’s disheartening to us,” Howland said, shaking her head. “We try to provide a safe area in the parks and then we have to waste our time to repair something damaged by others. Why? It’s so disheartening. I have no words for it, I’m so upset.”
Howland said the damage “seems to have been done by young adults between the ages of 18 to 21.”
“That seems to be the crowd that staff has addressed in the past down there,” she said. “This type of activity can’t be tolerated. There has to be action taken and consequences need to be given. It’s such a senseless act. We want them to enjoy the park but there’s no reason to cause the destruction.”
There were pieces of siding broken sporadically in places on the underside of the pavilion roof; the light sensors by the electrical box were broken and the covers on electrical fixtures were broken; seven to eight picnic tables were torn up with some of the metal bracing broken and there was writing and graffiti, carving and gouging in the wood; graffiti was written on the concrete floor and the pillars as well as in the bathroom facility, said Frank Shula, park facility coordinator.
“It’s a shame. It seems to be the same group that does it, but it’s hard to do anything to stop it,” Shula said.
Park department employees worked approximately 35 to 40 hours in two days to repair the damage, Shula added.
“They tried to hose down the whole pavilion. It was a mess,” he said, watching Ben Comptom using a power-wash tool Tuesday afternoon on the exterior of the bathroom facility. “And this pavilion was rebuilt a year ago.”