Vandals strike Towsley Auditorium
EditorA fire extinguisher is good for putting out a fire, but it’s bad for electronics — as evidenced by extensive damage done recently to lighting, sound and video equipment in Washtenaw Community College’s Towsley Auditorium. Three fire extinguishers were sprayed on the auditorium’s stage and in the equipment booth, according to Ron Schebil, who retired March 12 as director of safety and security at WCC. “This was a deliberate and malicious act of vandalism,” said Joshua Pardon, director of media services. He declined to give a specific amount, but estimated damage to be “tens of thousands of dollars.” That amount includes having the booth professionally cleaned. Towsley, located in the Morris Lawrence building, is running on back-up equipment until new equipment arrives. Pardon said the back-up equipment is functional, but they’re still “operating with diminished capacity.” He expects to be fully back up and running sometime during the summer. “I think that probably 80 to 85 percent of the events we do on any given day, you won’t notice a difference,” Pardon said, noting that the back-up equipment can’t handle complicated sound or lighting. The end of the school year is the auditorium’s busiest time, but Pardon said his employees were able to adapt and make the best of the situation since the vandalism occurred on Feb.15. The case was being investigated by the Washtenaw County sheriff’s department.