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Barrington-area schools closed due to 'severe bus vandalism'
By Chad Brooks and Sara Faiwell | Daily Herald Staff

The tires were slashed on approximately 40 school buses in Barrington causing the Barrington School District to cancel classes.

 

Gilber R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Mechanic John White replaces a tire on one of the vandalized buses.

 

Gilber R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Twenty-five large buses and 15 smaller buses had between one and three tires slashed on them. One bus was also was vandalized with spray paint.

 

Gilber R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Daniel Gomez of Antioch Tire Inc. unloads a new shipment of tires to the Barrington bus company.

 

Gilber R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

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Published: 12/4/2007 6:35 AM | Updated: 12/4/2007 2:34 PM

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All after-school activities at Barrington High School are on as scheduled despite classes being canceled today after vandals slashed the tires on nearly 40 school buses.

At Barrington Middle School Station and Prairie campuses, however, most activities have been canceled, though scheduled basketball games are on as planned.

While there were no athletic games scheduled for Tuesday at the high school, Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials said all practices and co-curricular activities would be held as normal in the afternoon and evening.

Tuesday night's scheduled National Honor Society induction ceremony at the high school will also be held as planned. However, the rehearsal scheduled for after school was canceled.

At the two district middle schools, officials said all activities and events, except the scheduled basketball games, have been canceled. The basketball games at Prairie and Station campuses will be played as scheduled.

Barrington-Inverness Police Department's Deputy Chief Jerry Libit said the vandalism appears to be the work of kids.

"On the surface it does, but we are also not discounting that it could be someone else," Libit said.

Libit said police are hoping that when students return to class Wednesday someone who did it may talk about it with other students. They want those students to hear about it, to report what they know to school officials or police.

Early Tuesday morning, Sarah Sander, an administrator with the Barrington Transportation Co., which provides bus service to District 220, said 25 large buses and 15 smaller buses had between one and three tires slashed on them. Also one bus was vandalized with spray paint.

"It looked like someone used an ice pick," she said.

In all, Sander said 70 tires were damaged. She said they cost between $175 and $250 each to replace.

"It is going to be significant," Sander said of the replacement costs.

With fewer buses operational, Leonard said if school had been in session students would have had a longer wait for the bus.

"We were concerned about the kids waiting outside in the cold, so we decided to close school," Leonard said.

By early Tuesday afternoon, Sander said new tires had already arrived and were in the process of being installed.

"(Our tire vendor) came down with a whole truck load of tires," Sander said.

Both Sander and Leonard said they are expecting school will be back open as normal Wednesday.

While it has been an upsetting experience, Sander said the outpouring of offers for help from the community has been great.

She said a local bakery dropped off breakfast for those working on the tires and that local automobile repair shows have called to see how they can help.

"We have been so appreciative of everyone in town," Sander said.

The district has 12 facilities serving parts of Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties.

For information, visit the district's Web site at www.cusd220.org.