PENN HILLS (KDKA) — Some expensive repairs are needed in the Penn Hills School District after vandals damaged the football field and athletic building.
Sometime over the weekend, authorities say vandals broke into the Fralic Athletic Center facility and scattered trash through the building.
The Penn Hills Indians football team’s new field was nearing completion when it happened.
“They got into the Fralic Center somehow and got a hold of our golf carts that are used for the football team’s equipment, drove them around on the field, did some donuts on the field,” said Rick Laberto, of the Penn Hills School District.
The $700,000 state-of-the-art field turf surface – $200,000 of which came from an NFL gift – was damaged. And it’s more than meets the eye. There are unseen, deep divots, gaping seams and loose surface, all of which are dangerous to young athletes and there’s no easy fix.
“Now the turf has to be cut out and replaced with patches. Brand new turf; it hasn’t even been fully installed,” said Laberto. “Somewhere in the $20,000 to $30,000 range between the golf carts that have been damaged, the field that has been damaged and the inside of the Fralic Center that was also damaged.
And depending on the suspect’s age, police say the family could be responsible.
“The legal consequences are if we find out who did it, if we arrest them, the family’s going to be responsible,” said Chief Howard Burton, of the Penn Hills Police Department. “Mom and dad will pick up the tab.”
But if the vandals thought they broke the team’s spirit, they appeared to have failed.
“I think it’s got them more motivated,” Laberto said. “They’ve actually done some things on their own, on the field, to take ownership of this field. This is our house and it’s a family attitude.”
Police want the public’s help in this case. If you know anything about it, you are urged to call the Penn Hills Police Department.