Vandals target another North Kamloops school
Investigators are looking into a suspicious blaze in Brocklehurst on Friday, June 8.
Just before 4:30 a.m., a resident in the area of the old George Hilliard elementary, in the 900-block of Holt Street, called 911 to report a fire on top of the building.
Kamloops Fire Rescue arrived and snuffed out the blaze, which was burning on the school's roof, above a utility room.
KFR Insp. Kevin Hall said it looks like the fire was set on purpose.
"It's definitely suspicious," he said.
"And, there were some other acts of vandalism perpetrated at the school last night."
Kamloops-Thompson school district assistant superintendent Karl de Bruijn said the building, which used to operate as an elementary school but now houses three day cares in addition to the Big Little Science Centre, will likely be back in operation next week.
"It's really unfortunate," he said.
"The fire investigators and the RCMP are still investigating, but it appears to be vandalism."
In addition to the fire damage, de Bruijn said, the building was also covered in "extreme graffiti" and littered with beer cans.
"It forced the cancellation of all the Big Little Science Centre programs today," he said, noting the day cares were also closed.
"There's a strong smell of smoke in the school."
De Bruijn said the district has insurance on its buildings, but still has to pay a hefty deductible to make claims.
"That money could be used for other purposes," he said.
"It sounds pretty repetitive."
On March 19, vandals struck Kay Bingham elementary, as well as other public buildings in the area.
SD73 officials pegged damage in that instance at about $20,000.
Two teens were arrested in connection with the vandalism spree in March.
De Bruijn said it's too early to speculate about the cost of this morning's damage.
"It's extremely concerning," he said.
"We've had vandalism before, but this could have quite simply — if somebody hadn't called it in — their action saved the building."
Police are now investigating.
Anyone with information can call Kamloops Mounties at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.