Preschool back on track
Wednesday, 8th February, 2017
By Andrew Robertson
Playtime Preschool will reopen its doors today, little more than a month after young vandals caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the centre in South Broken Hill.
“We’re ready for the children,” a relieved director Tess Gilmour declared yesterday.
It was a markedly more upbeat Ms Gilmour speaking yesterday compared to early January, when the preschool was rocked by two break-ins in as many days.
The senseless destruction left the popular centre virtually unrecognisable and the community outraged.
In the first attack, the offenders smashed their way into the preschool, which was closed over the school holidays, before making a mess and stealing iPads and some confectionery.
The second time was much more destructive. An $8,000 smart board was damaged by the vandals who also poured paint and food onto the floors.
Police have charged at least one juvenile in relation to the break-in.
The preschool has had barely four weeks to repair the damage but Ms Gilmour said that the clean-up was complete and the centre would open on schedule.
Rooms have been scrubbed, fixtures repaired, new carpet has been laid and timber flooring resealed.
“There’s still a few things missing and a few things to do but at least we’ll be open for tomorrow,” Ms Gilmour said.
“Some staff volunteered their time over the holidays to help out.”
The preschool has also again praised the individuals and businesses that helped the centre get back on its feet through raffles and other fundraisers.
The support is still coming. A special T20 game featuring the city’s best cricketers is planned for February 17 to raise money for the preschool.
Ms Gilmour said the preschool would open its doors in the near future so that the public could see what their support had been able to achieve.
“Once we’ve got everything back up and running we want to do an open afternoon.
“We certainly want to throw our doors open for the community.”
In the meantime, Ms Gilmour and the rest of the staff are looking forward to putting a horror start to the year behind them and welcoming back the children.
“I can’t wait to see their faces.”