Sanford Superintendent David Theoharides talks to CBS 13 at the construction site of the new $103 million Sanford High School, which has been the target of repeated incidents of vandalism, the latest round of which may delay the start of fall classes. Credit: CBS 13

SANFORD, Maine — Vandalism at the new Sanford High School construction site is causing setbacks.

The superintendent says vandals actually drove a scissor lift into the framing, and all of it will need to be replaced.

“I think it was more [a case of] a couple of idiots here trying to do some damage and really didn’t know what they were doing,” Sanford Superintendent David Theoharides told CBS 13.

Theoharides says the vandals also broke a window, spilled paint on the floors and set multiple small fires, but thanks to fire codes, “this building is basically fireproof.”

[3 fires set at site of Maine’s most expensive school construction project ever]

He says in total it’s about a $120,000 setback.

“I believe the contractor is estimating the loss of the work day at about $85,000 in potential lost wages yesterday and maybe $40,000 worth of damage,” Theoharides said.

Theoharides says the biggest problem this incident has caused is a setback in construction.

“It may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, because we’re on a very tight timeline,” Theoharides said.

[Vandals, thieves delay construction of new Sanford High School]

He says they are already behind because of the lack of workers.

“They can’t for example, find masons, they can’t find iron workers to hang the steel and so forth and that shortage of workforce people has really caused problems keeping them on schedule,” Theoharides said.

The initial school opening was supposed to be August 1, then was pushed back to the 15th. Now, Theoharides is fearful they won’t open the new school building until Christmas time.

[Residents learn more about plan for new $100-million high school]

“If I can’t make the August 15 deadline, do I end up postponing the opening of school months rather than just a couple of days,” Theoharides said.

School is set to begin the first week in September, they’ll make a decision this Friday whether there will be a delay.

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