Unknown suspects vandalized the spacious greenhouse at Gilroy High School last week sometime between Monday and Wednesday, according to GHS Principal Marco Sanchez.
Last week’s case is one of several that Sanchez is aware of, however volunteers at the Gilroy Demonstration Garden – who use the greenhouse to grow their seedlings – say it’s the sixth time something like this has happened.
No police report has been filed yet, according to Sgt. Chad Gallacinao with the Gilroy Police Department. Gallacinao did confirm that GPD School Resource Officer Pat Sullivan is actively investigating the incident.
The vandals destroyed the greenhouse’s electrical system; broke all the lights; tore the blades off every ceiling fan; broke infrastructure paneling; left an unsightly mess of glass, wood and debris; and even hung a desk from the rafters. While a chain link fence that surrounds the facility remains locked, mounds of hardened planting dirt surrounding the fence make it easy to hop over.
GHS used the greenhouse up until three or four years ago for horticulture classes; however a decline in enrollment caused those classes to be canceled, Sanchez said. Staff from GHS’s food services and science departments are interested in finding a way to utilize the facility again in the future, according to Sanchez.
Sanchez does not know what it will cost to repair the greenhouse.
“We’re getting an estimate from our insurance,” he said Thursday. “Anything that reaches above $5,000, and our insurance kicks in. Otherwise we have to repair it on our own.”