The Shoals Community Recreation Center was vandalized last week, causing significant damages and prompting the center’s board of directors to offer a $500 award to anyone providing information that leads to an arrest.
According to board representative Phyllis Jessup, the vandalism is believed to have occurred on Thursday or Friday, Oct. 12 or Oct. 13. A local resident noticed the damage while using the adjacent walking track Saturday morning. Board members were notified and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office was called in to investigate.
Board members estimate damage at $10,000.
The damage was located under and around a gazebo located near the Shoals Volunteer Fire Department. A majority of the eight to ten heavy metal tables under the facility received varying degrees of damage while shingles were pulled off the roof and curved concrete benches on concrete pads ranged from being heavily damaged to virtually destroyed.
“The picnic tables were extremely sturdy and three of them were severely bent. That took quite a bit of force,” Jessup said.
“We’ve had some vandalism before, but never anything like this,” Jessup said. “By offering a reward for information that leads to a conviction, we’re emphasizing that we really need to find out who did this.”
“This is a community-supported facility,” she continued, “and we’ve worked hard for years trying to have this for our community. When something like this happens, it’s really discouraging.”