Vandalism damages computers at school district office in Benton City

Tri-City HeraldOctober 28, 2013 

— A school district office near Kiona-Benton City Middle School was broken into and vandalized during the weekend, knocking out phones to the schools on Monday.

Servers in the district’s former administrative building, now home to the district’s preschool, were smashed with a hammer or similar object and wires pulled and cut at some point during the weekend, said district Superintendent Rom Castilleja during a school board meeting Monday night. Damage is estimated at $100,000.

The Kiona-Benton City School Board on Monday approved an emergency resolution suspending the bidding process so district officials could work quickly to repair damage to the vandalized servers.

The district was without phone service for part of the day Monday because of the damage. There is still no security or fire alarm service at the elementary and middle school, requiring district staff to be posted at the building Monday night.

The district’s website still is up and there are backups of student grades. However, all of the district’s online programs will be down for at least a few days, and other data may have been lost.

The district released alternate numbers so the public can reach officials until the lines are working again. The alternative numbers are: elementary school, 727-4669 and 539-2691; middle school, 727-4281, 619-9023 and 727-4964; and high school, 727-5562 and 727-4972.

Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 509-735-6555.

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