Nanaimo-Ladysmith School Board Chair says costs of "School Squat" will likely escalate

School Squatters

The $100-thousand figure we've been hearing in relation to the damage done by homeless advocates to a Nanaimo's Rutherford Elementary School are likely going to go up.

That -- according to Nanaimo-Ladysmith School Board Chair Steve Rae.  He says the figure is just an early estimate:

" You know those are initial estimates you know, and those numbers  also include security. We've  had to beef up our security. That particular school has 24 hour security now. They've mentioned they are going to try to go to other schools in the district so we've had to hire security for those. But yes, those are initial estimates. The damage was devastating, it really was."

Rae says the majority of those who took over the school weren't  Nanaimo's vulnerable. He describes them as "anarchists," many not even from the area. Rae adds the antics have hurt the cause of the homeless as residents are losing their patience:

" I know the people of Nanaimo are extremely frustrated with the damage that it caused. And again, it's private property. They seem to think it' s a public building. Well, the school is owned by the school district and we are responsible for all maintenance of that building.  So this is money that is supposed to be ear-marked for children that will have to be used now to clean this up."

Besides damaged doors, holes knocked in ceilings,and grafitti, the drugs and paraphernalia left throughout the school required a hazmat team to clear.

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