Vandals take saw to Hahaione Elementary's playground

Vandals do $20k in damage to Hahaione Elementary school playground
Published: Aug. 11, 2016 at 7:38 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 12, 2016 at 3:02 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of two playgrounds at Hahaione Elementary is off limits and will need to be replaced after vandals took a saw to the equipment over the weekend.

The set is now surrounded by yellow tape.

"This particular piece is plastic so we can't simply weld it together," said PTSA vice President Keri Webber, as she wiggles the damaged steps.

The Parent Teacher Student Association spent years raising funds to get the $45,000 needed to purchase the apparatus. Parents put in weekends to install it.

The large plastic playground set is rooted in concrete, about six feet deep, and has a thick, safety mat. So ripping out just the vandalized pieces to save money isn't possible.

The whole playground set needs to be removed at an estimated cost of $20,000.

"It's upsetting that someone in the community would do this," Webber said.

The vandals sawed apart the top section of the stairs and the safety handle, making it dangerous for students.  A bucket was cut off on the side designated for students with disabilities.

"This is really sad because one of the areas is really designed for disabled students so they don't have many options," said school Principal Cappy Goo.

On Thursday, there was a long line of kids waiting to use the tether ball at recess. With the vandalized playground set out of commission, there aren't many other options in that part of the campus.

There is a second playground near the office, but having two allows more than one grade access to a play set during recess and gives students choices.

The PTSA will start fundraising again to pay for the repair work. But they worry it could take the rest of the school year to raise the needed funds. A parent has started an online drive:

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