Those in charge of looking after Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay were not impressed Saturday morning when they discovered 23 windows at the stadium had been damaged overnight.
Brad Power, chairman of the board overseeing the arena’s operations, said he hopes video from the night will help the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary track down whomever caused the damage.
“When something like this happens to a regional facility, it affects everybody,” said Power, who is a councillor for the Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove.
The board estimates the total damage will cost at least $20,000 to repair. It was the first reported incident of vandalism involving the arena.
The $14-million stadium, which opened in October of 2008, is jointly owned and operated by the towns of Torbay, Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, Flatrock and Pouch Cove.
Video surveillance, which was activated through motion-sensitivity, showed the incident took place shortly after midnight July 23. There were cameras pointing at the two main entrances from inside the arena.
Two small holes in shattered windows facing Torbay Road lead Power to believe the vandals may have used a pellet or BB gun in the incident.
The panes of glass were approximately a quarter-inch thick. Damage was restricted to the exterior panes of the double-pane windows.
Debris from the incident had to be cleared away by Saturday evening for the adult dance held as part of the Torbay Hillside Festival. Tape covers the edges where small shards of glass remain.
Torbay Mayor Bob Codner was at the event that evening.
“I think it’s bloody ridiculous,” he said, summarizing his feelings about the vandalism. “The obvious question is why would someone even do that?”
Power said while the arena does carry insurance, he expects its premiums will go up because of the vandalism. Last year, an electrical malfunction drove those premiums upwards.
“This is not a small claim by any means,” said Power.
Complicating matters for the arena will be the need to install ice in two weeks to accommodate a hockey school. The broken panes may create insulation issues, resulting in new challenges for ice makers at the arena.
The RNC is treating the event as a case of mischief, and Power agrees with that assessment. He said windows by the manager’s office and the boardroom were left unharmed, indicating money was not a motivating factor in the act of vandalism.
Meanwhile, management will soon look at quotes for video surveillance on the perimeter of the arena to help prevent a repeat incident.
“We’ll have eyes on all corners of the building,” said Power.